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Bareheaded, with liis eoat torn open from throat to waist. 










Copyright, 1897, 













Bareheaded, with his coat torn open from throat to waist . . 12 

" Drop them, sir, instantly!" 101 

" Back with you, captain ! Eide like mad" 220 

Blushingly holding the wine-glass 442 




In Hospital, Washington, D. C, 

August 2, 18B1. 

Geoege Lowndes, Esq. : 

My dear Sie, — The colonel has received your 
letter asking for the full particulars of the death of 
your gallant son, one of the last to fall on that fatal 
Sunday afternoon. I am spending the morning at 
the bedside of my commanding officer, for he him- 
self is flat on his back, disabled by his wounds, and 
he has asked me to reply. 

The papers have told you how hopefully we 
marched from Centreville, and with what enthusi- 
asm the attack began. Of course, we know now 
that it was intended that General Hunter's column 
should open the ball much earlier in the morning, 
and that the heights back of the turnpike should 
have been assaulted soon after sunrise, but it seemed 
nearly noon before our brigade commander led us 
through the ford and we pitched in to the support 
of the attack. You have read, too, how successful 

we were at first. Really, as we swept up the slope 



in line, we saw no enemy at all, only a smoky ridge, 
topped by open fields in which two regular batteries 
were banging away in front of the Henry house, 
making tremendous noise and smoke, and setting us 
to cheering like mad. But we had hardly gained 
the crest, and were pushing forward, when the oppo- 
site woods blazed with fire and we could see mounted 
ofiicers waving the rebel flags and rallying their men, 
and then came crashing volleys from over beyond 
the batteries, and the next thing we knew those Fire 
Zouaves were tearing through the right of our line 
utterly demoralized. Captain Arnold was hit in the 
leg by a rifle ball just as we reached the top, and had 
to fall out, and that threw Jack in command of his 
company, the right flank. Oh, Mr. Lowndes, I know 
very little of the circumstances that led to the es- 
trangement between you and your gTeat, brave boy, 
but if you could have seen him raging at those run- 
ning Zouaves, hacking at them with his sword and 
damning them for cowards, calling meanwhile on his 
men to keep their line, you would have been proud 
of him, and you couldn't have helped it. He was 
the handsomest fellow in the line of ofiicers anyhow, 
and that day he seemed inspired. He looked a head 
taller and grander and braver than any man in the 
regiment, even our giant color-bearer. 

It was no use trying to stem that rush to the rear, 
though. Those fellows swept all over the right 
company, and then, as we could catch a glimpse 
through the smoke, we saw that horses and men were 



dropping in dozens all among the guns and caissons, 
and the bullets came whistling through our ranks 
like hail. We couldn't see where to fire, couldn't 
hear what to do, until, as we got about half-wav over 
the field, the rebels rose like a gray wall at the edge 
of the woods and began pouring it into us. I own 
my heart jumped up into my mouth, and I thought 
it was all over with us then, but when the men of 
that first company began to waver, for the fire was 
hotter on that flank, there was Jack shouting and 
collaring them and shoving them back into line and 
waving his sword, and the colonel was shot just as 
he rode over to praise him; and then things seemed 
to melt away anyhow. We carried the colonel off 
the field, and we made a stand at the edge of the 
bluff, but everywhere the lines were going. You 
could see the rebels swarming through the guns and 
dancing on the caissons and yelling like mad, and 
then that fresh line of J ohnston's from the Shenan- 
doah came crashing and volleying in from the woods, 
and that ended everything. It seemed as though 
nothing could hold the men. They felt that they 
had been tricked, outwitted, sacrificed, misled. God 
knows, perhaps they were; we only obeyed orders, 
— and then down the slopes went everybody with a 
rush, and presently everybody was mixed up with 
everybody else. 

But to the very last Jack was there with his com- 
pany, shouting, urging, praying, threatening, and 
though they got the full force of that flank fire, I'm 


bound to say his company was the last to break and 
go, and all because of him. My God! I see him 
now, glorious in his rage and daring, and his utter 
contempt of danger. I see him bareheaded, with 
his coat torn open for air from throat to waist, ripped 
in two places by whizzing balls. Another had cut 
away the tassel of his sash in such a manner that 
the strands of the silk were trailing like so much 
blood down his left leg, and all of a sudden, as I was 
running to the right with the order for them to fall 
back fighting, for the general saw it had to be. Jack 
suddenly reeled, clasped his hands to his breast, and 
then plunged heavily forward on his face. I 
screamed to some of the men to raise him. Sergeant 
Haney and Lou Willett strove to lift him, but his 
head fell on his chest; his face, which had been 
reeking with sweat a moment before, was now plas- 
tered with mud. We did lift and carry him down 
the hill, but he never gave a sound or a sob, never 
spoke, never regained consciousness one minute, and 
Haney cried out, "My God! he's shot dead!" Then 
what could we do? Such ambulances or wagons as 
we had were gone in mad panic and rush for the 
Stone Bridge. The men had got started on the run, 
and were throwing away knapsacks and blankets, 
cartridge-boxes and everything. It was all mad 
flight, climbing over one another's heels, pushing, 
pulling, swearing, — yes, some poor fellows were ab- 
solutely crying in terror. And then the yell went 
up, "Look out! look out! Black Horse Cavalry!" 


and Sergeant Haney saw it was no use, and, dead 
tliongli he was, poor Jack was propped against a low 
wall jnst south of the pike, and there we left him, 
shot through and through, the blood soaking down 
his shirt front. We were barely in time to save our 
own skins, for half a dozen were cut off and captured 
not ten yards behind us as we got in sight of the 

And that is all I have the heart to write. We 
were strangers, your son and I, until chance brought 
us together in the same regiment, but a more sol- 
dierly fellow never lived, despite the recklessness 
that seemed to possess him when camp life grew 
monotonous. He did not like me at first, because I 
had to be the writer of occasional missives ordered 
by the colonel, who is a strict disciplinarian, but I 
was drawn to him from the start, and we soon be- 
came warm friends. Duties j^revented my seeing 
as much of him as I could have wished. The colo- 
nel was hard, perhaps, when we lay around Wash- 
ington, for Jack was drawn thither, I fancy, by a 
fascination he could not resist. But from the time 
Ave got across the Potomac and well out towards 
Fairfax he Avas a model officer, and we all swore by 
him. Bull Run would have made him a captain had 
it not killed him. There isn't a man in the regiment 
that doesn't mourn his loss, — that doesn't seem to 
think our best soldier was killed in our first fight. 

I wish I could send you some token or relic, or 
the papers to Avhich you refer, but there was no time. 


I did try to unloose his sword, but the knot was 
looped tight about his wrist, just as he had worn it 
so gallantly, and it seemed as though he resisted the 
effort, and I let it go. We pray that your quest may 
be successful and that your friends can ascertain for 
you just where poor Jack was buried, and I need not 
say that we would gladly aid in the search were it 
permitted us. In any event, believe me, dear sir, 
in sympathy and sorrow, 

Faithfully yours, 

Esmond Harkness, 
Adjutant — th Regiment New York Volunteers. 

P. S. — To be accurate as to the spot where we left 
him, I should say it was just about due north from 
the Robinson house and at the edge of the turnpike. 


In Camp near Alexandria, Virginia, 
August 3, 1861. 
George Lowndes, Esq., 

No. , Fifth Avenue, New York: 

Dear Sir, — Agreeably to your request, I send 
you the enclosed extract referring to your son from 
my official report of the battle of Bull Run. 

"The rout began to our right and the fugitives 
came rushing through our lines despite all efforts to 
stem or turn them. Captain Arnold having been 
wounded, the command of the first company de- 
volved upon Lieutenant Lowndes, who instantly 
sprang to the front, and by voice, example, and j^er- 


sonal effort did everything in the power of man to 
check the fugitives and hold his own company in 
line. In this he was successful only so far as the 
company was concerned. They fell back as ordered, 
with steady front, keeping up their loading and 
firing until we reached the crest again, and here the 
volleying from our right front seemed to redouble. 
The regular batteries were silenced and captured, 
the rebels were swarming all over them, and with 
everything gone to the right and left of us I had to 
order retreat. Just at this juncture. Lieutenant 
Lowndes received the fatal bullet that entered his 
breast and probably penetrated the heart, for he fell 
on his face and never spoke again. So long as there 
seemed hoj)e of his life his comrades bore him down 
the slope, but were compelled to abandon the body 
on reaching the pike. Thus died a brilliant soldier 
and heroic man, who would doubtless have risen to 
high rank had he been longer spared to his country's 

It would have been easy to add words of higher 
praise for this young man, and, had I consulted my 
own desire, I should not have withheld them, but 
such praise might have been considered a reflection 
upon my superior, who, earlier in the campaign, at 
least, seemed to find it difficult to overlook certain 
absences, etc., to which I would not now refer but 
for your own allusions to them. From the time our 
onward march began Lieutenant Lowndes was a 
model soldier. 


I deeply regret that it is impossible to comply 
with your request that further search be made for 
papers, etc., supposed to be in the possession of your 
son. Everything except what was on his person at 
the time we went into action was carefully packed 
under the supervision of Major Murray and sent to 
you by express. If there were other papers of im- 
portance, they fell with the body into the hands of 
the enemy. 

Accept the tender of my s^anpathy in this deep 
affliction, and believe me, dear sir, 
Very truly yours, 

Leroy p. Fitch, 
Lieutenant- Col on el commanding — tli New YorTc 



No. — Fifth Avenuk, New York City, 
August 4, 1861. 

Your letter has reached me, and answer it I sup- 
pose I must; and yet how can you expect me to 
write calmly at such a time? Jack loved you de- 
votedly, and all might have been so different if you 
could only have been more kind. That last dreadful 
quarrel between him and father, when father found 
that he was here in New York again, instead of at- 
tending to his duties at Monadnock, and all because 
you would not answer his letters and the poor boy 
craved the sight of your face, — that last quarrel, I 
say, would have killed mother had she lived to see 


it; and from that awful night when father ordered 
him out of the house, out of the home where we had 
been so happy, I never saw my darling brother's face 
again. God forgive you, Belle Heatherwood ; I can- 
not — yet. I know that he was reckless, improvident, 
that his college days were failures, but mother 
always spoiled and shielded him, always gave him 
money when father denied him. He was a different 
man from the day you first came to this house as our 
guest and my trusted friend. He became your slave, 
and he worshipped the very ground you trod on. 
He abandoned all his old companions and devoted 
every hour to you. I was even jealous to see my 
brother's love so lavishly poured out, but if I had 
supposed you could refuse him it would have been 
a thousand times worse. Admitting that he had 
been reckless, intemperate, and played cards and bet, 
and — did other things that worried mother and in- 
furiated father, that was all in the past, and it was 
all the fault of the fast set with which he had been 
thrown from the start. At heart Jack was ever a 
gentleman, full of sweetest impulse, kind, brave, and 
generous, even to the men that made a ^vreck of his 
life. But all that old life, I say, was changed. He 
became a totally different man from the moment he 
met you. At least he was, and would have remained 
so, so long as you were kind to him. If you really 
were in love with Floyd Fairfax I would not have 
blamed you, but you weren't — you told me again 
and again that you were not. Then why couldn't 


you think of Jack? O God! O God! it's all over 
now, and my heart's broken. Father sits all day in 
his study and broods. 1 know he'd give anything — 
everything — to call my brother back and bid him 
forget the bitter words — my great, gallant, noble 
brother. Belle, Belle, no matter how you may sym- 
pathize with this wicked rebellion, no matter how 
many kinsmen you may have on the Southern side, 
even your cold heart must beat with pride when you 
read how superbly brave Jack w^as, how gloriously 
he died, fighting for our beautiful flag — my hero 
brother, my noble Jack! 

There, I've stopped — I had to stop or blur this 
letter so that it would be utterly unintelligible, but 
I am calmer now. You were my dearest friend, 
Belle, and I have tried to put myself in your place 
and think for you. I try to believe all you tell me 
of your sorrow and sympathy. Father commands 
me to say that he deeply appreciates your letter and 
a very sweet one that came from your dear mother 
from some place over in Virginia, where she had 
gone to be near your wounded — there was no one, no 
one, to give my Jack a drop of cool water in his 
dying agony. I wish I could write in some other 
way, but I can't, and if you're hurt I can't help it, 
Belle. You would have my answer, and this is the 
best I can do. You ask what our plans are, and I 
reply that we shall remain here in iSTew York for the 
present. Aunt Eunice is here with us, but father 
expects to leave for Washington to-night, perhaps. 


in hopes of recovering Jack's body. It was your 
picture that lay on his heart ^vhen he died. Father 
bids me say that you and your mother will be wel- 
come now or at any time that you feel ready to 
come, but I cannot dissemble. I will only pray that 
your brother may not be taken from you as was mine 

Florence Lowndes. 


— EuTAw Street, Baltimore, 
August 6. 

Again I write you, dear Florence, not to upbraid 
you for the reproaches in your letter which reached 
me last night, but to explain some matters wherein 
you must have been misinformed. God forbid that 
I should resent any word you may have written 
when so sorely stricken. I tremble to think that at 
any moment I, too, may lose the brother I deeply 
love. Florence, you have your father still. You 
have many friends and relatives who have taken no 
part in this cruel war against us, against our 
hearths and homes, but all of mine, — every man 
of our name or kin is now enrolled in the Confed- 
erate army. All of ours are gone. We are utterly 
alone. Mother, as you know, is now at Warrenton 
nursing our wounded. Mrs. Fairfax, Floyd's mother, 
is with her, and cousin Belle (Mrs. Tighlman), and 
not a word has reached us from them for over a 
week. It is her purpose to return when she can be 


spared and to live at Ileatherwood, which Major 
Thomas guarded for us until recently, but which 
has, nevertheless, suffered not a little. 

And this will be the more painful to me because 
of all its association with Jack. Two months last 
year, September and October, he was with us almost 
all the time, and if I was unkind to him, Florence, 
it was because he was angering his father and ruin- 
ing his own prospects. Thrice mother brought me 
letters Mr. Lowndes had written^ blaming her be- 
cause Jack would not obey him and return to his 
duties. I pleaded with Jack to go, and he would not. 
T did behave to him with coldness at last, and told 
him his presence there was a distress to us all, but he 
would never have misunderstood my motive if Floyd 
Fairfax had not happened just then to arrive. Jack 
did leave our roof and went to visit Frank Waddell 
at Leesburg and the Tighlmans at Frederick, but 
every now and then he would reappear while Floyd 
was here, and from the first they seemed hostile to 
each other, and poor mother was bitterly distressed. 
Finally, as I say, I had to tell Jack that I would see 
him no more. There had been words between him 
and Mr. Fairfax that day, and a bitter letter came 
from your father, and I was harsh and unkind, per- 
haps, but when I saw how utterly he was stung, 
when I learned that he had gone, really gone, then 
my heart misgave me. They told mother he was at 
the Club in Baltimore a whole week, and she pres- 
ently followed him there, to try and persuade him to 


go home; and then we heard other things, — of his 
breaking down, and it nearly broke my heart. 

Florence, we had to go to New York last winter 
again, we had promised that visit to the Bells, and I 
did \vr\te to Jack telling him how I grieved over the 
harsh words I had used, and begged him to forgive 
me and be friends, and he misunderstood it all, — 
thought I wanted to call him back, and so he came 
to Xew York again and stayed, and you know the 
rest. I, too, implored him to return to Monadnock, 
but he hated the place and told me of troubles he 
had with your father's lawyer, Mr. Clarke; and then 
your father came and accused me of luring Jack 
there and holding him there. It was that night that 
I told him either he or 1 must leave I^ew York. 
And that ended everything. 

Then came the news of Sumter, and you know 
all the rest. Time will acquit me of your charges, 
Florence, but this I will tell you now; even though 
he died battling against all I hold dear, against kith 
and kin and home, I did glory in his valor, and I 
wept for days over his death. I am weeping now. 
But for one thing I think I would have said yes to 
him a year ago, and if it could recall him from the 
grave, even in that uniform, — I know I would say it 

Belle Heatherwood. 


The Sim had gone down over the bold blue 
heights towards the Shenandoah, and all the broad 
valley of the Potomac lay in shadow. Bursting from 
its mountain gate-way to the west at Point of Rocks, 
the river came rippling and swirling about the huge 
boulders that dotted its bosom, and then, abruptly 
bending, swept away in long, shadowy, willow- 
fringed curves towards the south. Over on the 
northward, — the Maryland shore, — where the placid 
waters lay mirroring the cloud fleet sailing across 
the summer sky, faint columns of bluish smoke 
went drifting aloft among the white tents at the 
ferry landing, and the voices of the guard, clus- 
tered about a motley batch of mud scows and pon- 
toons moored under the shelving bank, came drow- 
sily over the intervening waters. Here, on the 
Virginia side, a squadron of grimy cavalry had dis- 
mounted in the dun-red dust of the roadway and 
was silently awaiting the result of its leader's parley 
with the opposite shore. Some of the troopers, pass- 
ing their reins through the headstall of a comrade's 
horse, had thrown themselves on the scant herbage 
by the roadside and, with their caps pulled over their 

faces, had gone instantly sound asleep. Some few, 


with the bight of the reins looped about a blue-clad 
arm, were squatting or lying in the soft dust of the 
trampled thoroughfare, reckless of contact that 
might increase the volume but could not add to the 
effect of the besmirching soil. Some few, well up 
towards the head of column, confident, apparently, 
of their young leader's approval or at least never 
seeking audible token thereof, had led their weary 
steeds to the water's edge and were busily sponging 
out their dust-clogged eyes and nostrils. The bearer 
of the silken guidon was one of these, and, leaning 
the staff against the blanket roll at the cantle of his 
saddle, he was sousing his own sun-tanned visage in 
the stream when something sent the little standard 
clattering down upon his broad back, off which it 
bounded and splashed into the now turbid waters. 
It was fished out in an instant, and the young cor- 
poral cast an anxious glance at the slender form of 
the squadron commander, as though expectant of 
reprimand, but that usually "snappy" officer was 
busily studying the opposite landing through his 
field-glass and concentrating his sharp sayings on the 
sluggish movements of the ferrymen. The horses 
thus led to the riverside had plunged their muzzles 
deep in the refreshing flood and, after slaking their 
thirst, were tossing their heads from side to side and 
lashing the waters into spray in keen relish of their 
own privilege as being at the head of column, and in 
equine triumph over the less fortunate bulk of their 
comrades deeper down in the command. A grizzled 


sergeant, true to the old dragoon tenet of watering- 
only when you can water all, had indeed interposed 
a growling protest against this undisciplined proceed- 
ing on part of the men, but the silence of the senior 
sergeant had given consent, and the work went on. 
Other troopers, not yet asleep, profited by the ex- 
ample of the few in front, and they, too, came lead- 
ing down to the water's edge, seeing which, the first 
sergeant, with perfunctory touch of the hand to his 
cap visor, briefly addressed his commander: 

"Can we water, sir?" 

A nod was the only response. The lieutenant was 
too busy to waste his words. The trumpeter, at a 
glance from the sergeant, wriggled out of the dirty, 
yellow braided cord by which his brazen clarion was 
hung between his shoulder-blades, clapped the in- 
strument to his mouth, ground his heels into the 
yielding sand, fixed his eyes on vacancy, and essayed 
to sound "water call," but so parched was his own 
gullet that the resultant discord was a burlesque of 
the stirring peal to which the troopers were accus- 
tomed. Some of them growled a soldier anathema 
on the luckless performer. Some contented them- 
selves with casual and comprehensive reference to 
the hottest region known to them. Some few, not 
utterly tired out, laughed or chuckled audibly over 
Schmitz's failure. One young rider jocularly ad- 
dressed him. "If it was beer call could you sound it, 
Dutchy?" he asked, as he tossed his carbine back- 
ward over the shoulder, letting it hang there by the 


sling, while leading his drooping horse down the 
somewhat steep incline to the shore. 

"He could answer it, begad," spoke a tall corporal, 
who followed closely at the weary charger's heels, 
"and so could I if it were only Baltimore brew. 
Tumble up here, Larry^" he continued, launching a 
kick from his spurred boot at the recumbent form of 
a comrade at the roadside. "It's little you look like 
a light dragoon this day, if you are the beau of the 
troop. Larry, I say!" he continued, stopping short 
and prodding the victim with his foot. "It's water 
call. Don't you hear?" 

"Aw, leave Beau alone, Jimmy. Don't you know 
he was orderly to old Foulweather all last night? 
Sure he hasn't slept out of saddle for forty-eight 

"Fact," answered Corporal Jim, remorsefully. 
"Here, give me his horse, too. I'll take him." 

But already the trooper referred to as "Beau" be- 
gan to find his legs, yawning sleepily the while and 
rubbing his red-rimmed eyes with the back of a worn 
gauntlet, an article owned by not half a dozen men 
in the squadron. It needed but a glance to deter- 
mine that in this tall, slender, yet stalwart man was 
a creature of somewhat finer mould than the run of 
his comrades. Standing nearly six feet two, with 
broad, muscular shoulders and deep, massive chest, 
lean in flank and slim, comparatively, at the girth, 
with head well poised and carried almost proudly, 
if not even haughtily, erect, with straight, broad-nos- 


trilled nose, overhanging eyebrows, oval face, and 
clear cut chin, — all was fine even through the coat- 
ing of dust. Underneath the matted brows and 
lashes a pair of keen blue eyes flashed forth, bright 
and piercing despite the sleeplessness of the nights 
gone by. A blond moustache, red-bronzed now by 
the Virginia dust, the hirsute adornment then called 
an imperial, and close-cropped, light-brown hair com- 
pleted the framework of these attractive features. A 
battered forage-cap of the style then known as Mc- 
Clellan, with the crossed sabres and regimental num- 
ber in tarnished brass upon the overhanging crown 
and the unbound visor turned up instead of down, sat 
jauntily well forward on his head. The high collar 
of his trooper jacket, heavily trimmed with tawdry 
yellow worsted lace, was unhooked at the throat and 
destitute of stock, but a dark-red silk handkerchief 
was loosely knotted about the neck, and half-way 
down the front the jacket itself was unbuttoned, 
showing the coarse gray flannel of the shirt. His 
straight, sinewy legs were cased in cavalry trousers of 
light-blue cloth, and thrust deep into a pair of top 
boots, much finer than those of government make. 
Over his shoulder passed a broad black leather 
carbine sling, its buckle tarnished, its steel swivel 
coated with rust, and the carbine swinging therefrom 
was weather-beaten and rusty too. His waist was 
girt about by the *'buif leather" belt then worn in 
the service, supporting holster and Colt revolver at 
the right hip, and a dangling, battered, rusty sabre 


and scabbard on the left side. A common brass 
spur was strapped to the right boot, but its mate was 
missing. This, barring the silk handkerchief and 
the handsome boots, and the fact that most of them 
had two spurs, was practically the costume of every 
one of the ninety men who made up Hamlin's squad- 
ron of the — th regular cavalry, — two troops whose 
captains were commanding brigades of volunteers, 
one of whose lieutenants was leading a regiment, 
another languishing in Libby, another on staff duty, 
leaving only Bob Hamlin to command the array. 

A good soldier was Bob, one of the not too many 
in whom a capital sergeant had successfully borne 
his elevation to a commission. Not yet twenty-six 
years of age, he had served in the cavalry in Texas 
and on the plains when such service was full of hard- 
ship, peril, and isolation, had won his way to the chev- 
rons after a spirited brush with Comanches, and 
when half the officers of his former regiment went 
with their State in '61, and that regiment, with 
most of the others in the army, was sorely de- 
pleted as to the commissioned list, the vacancies were 
filled by the appointment of civilians and the pro- 
motion of scores of intelligent non-commissioned 
officers who bade fair to show fine mettle and ability 
in their new grade. Mettle was never lacking, 
though the ability was sometimes questioned, but 
not in Bob Hamlin's case. "There's a fellow who 
can get almost anything out of his men," said an ad- 
miring brother officer, "and I believe it's because he 
never nags them." 


And yet Mr. Hamlin was one of the strictest 
young officers in the service. For many months 
of the first year of the war his troop had been sta- 
tioned in and about the city of "Washington, and 
was noted for its spick and span neatness and style. 
It was a sight to see it on Pennsylvania Avenue on 
sunshiny days in its trim-fitting uniform, with glis- 
tening shoulder-scales, buckles, and scabbards, riding 
up to the War Department or head-quarters of the 
army. Its horses M'^ere marvellously groomed and 
cared for then, and this being before the days of big 
bounties in the volunteers, not a few enthusiastic 
young soldiers in the ranks of State troops succeeded 
in getting transferred to this particular troop of regu- 
lars, while on more than one occasion there appeared 
at the lieutenant's ofiice young civilians who had 
seen, perhaps, too much of higher life, and now 
sought admission to the ranks of the cavalry, and one 
of these was Larry or as he was borne upon the mus- 
ter roll, "Lawrence Bell." 

At first Mr, Hamlin had refused to enlist him. 
"I know your kind exactly," he had not unkindly 
said. "You are a man of social position. You've 
had trouble, and now with an alias you come here to 
enlist and bury yourself in the regulars. We buried 
two of your set after first Bull Run, — fellows who 
thought they ought to stay and whip the whole 
South when the rest of us were falling back on the 
Potomac. I'd rather not take you." 

"Very well, sir. Then I'll enlist at the Capitol 


Barracks," said Mr. Bell, neither affirming nor de- 
nying the lieutenant's theory, and, finding him 
calmly determined, and being furthermore a bit in- 
quisitive, Hamlin himself yielded, and "Beau Bell" 
his recruit became before he had been with the troop 
a week. 

But now it was mid-October, '62. Antietam had 
been fought, and Lee allowed to make good his re- 
treat to the sacred soil. His army had pushed on 
southward, taking it leisurely, while McClellan, 
timid and irresolute, was hovering along the Po- 
tomac, deaf to urgent pleas for action, pursuit, — 
anything rather than standing there all the day idle. 

Hamlin's squadron had been scouting along the 
east front of the curtaining range, peeping through 
Aldie and Upperville and the Gaps at the dust 
clouds of the slowly retiring hosts, far over beyond 
the Shenandoah, and "not once did Beau Larry 
turn a hair," as Sergeant Shaw expressed it. He 
had stepped into his uniform and swung into his sad- 
dle with the easy grace of a born cavalryman. He 
said nothing of what he knew of soldiercraft, yet 
proved to be better "set up" and better drilled than 
some of his instructors. He didn't like the balance 
of the carbine at first, and from the fact that with 
this one weapon he seemed awkward, and only this 
one, the old sergeants concluded that he had learned 
the manual with the musket in hand. But he could 
groom a horse and give some troopers points in the 
care of the hoof. He kept his own counsel, minded 


his own business, sought no intimacies, repelled none 
who sought his, yet dismissed them with his blessing 
and abundance of tobacco. He had money, or it 
came to him frequently, and he showed some dis- 
crimination in loaning it, as speedily nine-tenths of 
the men importuned him to do. He avoided discus- 
sion, contention, criticism of every and any kind; 
was patient, even conciliatory in manner towards 
his new comrades, who bored him very much, de- 
spite their interest in his doings. He was frequently 
one of the show figures of the troop, and could have 
been detailed for permanent duty at the quarters of 
some big functionary in Washington had he not 
almost excitedly urged that he might never be de- 
tached for any such purpose. On campaign, in the 
field, he said, he would take his chance as orderly 
for any of the general officers who might desire, but 
he drew the line at AVashington. He rejoiced 
heartily when hurried off to Yorktown with the 
transport. He was eager in the pursuit to Williams- 
burg, and foremost at the start in the famous charge 
at Gaines's Mill, but ere they had fairly taken the 
gallop his horse went down and pinned him under- 
neath, saving his life, perhaps, but nearly breaking 
his leg. A veteran cavalry general had him assigned 
to duty a few days at his head-quarters and was as- 
tonished when the young soldier begged to be re- 
lieved. But now under other skies and other soldiers 
Hamlin's squadron was scouring the Virginia roads, 
nimbly dodging the heavier bodies of Southern 


horse and swooping fearlessly in headlong charge 
when numbers were anywhere near equal. And on 
this particularly dry and sun-baked day in October 
it had been marching and scouting since early dawn, 
and was now sore hungTy for supper. 

"Are you looking for your horse, Beau?" asked 
a jovial Irish boy, rolling the quid of "plug" into the 
other cheek. "Will ye lend me the price of a pint 
till St. Peter's pay-day if I find him?" for Beau was 
just beginning to see that his charger was gone and 
that his comrades were slowly leading down to 

"Faix, it isn't the horse Larry's lookin' for," 
chimed in a second, an ill-favored specimen; "its 
the off side saddle-bag. Isn't it now, Larry? Sure 
ye niver yet told us what's in the tin case, and that's 
what the corporal's looking through now." 

Bell started as though stung by a lash, sent one 
piercing glance at the speaker, probably flushed red 
under the red dust coat of his skin, but only the sud- 
den blaze in his eye betrayed it. Then down the 
bank he went, finding the corporal indeed tugging 
at the strap of the saddle-bag, yet only, as he 
promptly explained, to fasten the thing because it 
had come loose. But the corporal turned and curi- 
ously studied the tall soldier who had so suddenly 
roused himself and was now standing glowering 
angrily, suspiciously, at his side. With scant cere- 
mony. Bell himself seized the strap, almost jerking 
it from his comrade's hands, unbuckled what had 


just been buckled, raised the flap and, interposing a 
broad back between the bag and the by-standers, 
thrust his hand within the folds as though to satisfy 
himself that certain items were there, and then, 
withdrawing it, raised the flap and reassured himself 
by a long peep. 

"You're no end particular about that saddle-bag. 
Beau," said the nettled non-commissioned officer. 
"I was doing you a friendly service, man, and you 
look as though you thought me a thief." 

"There's nothing there worth stealing, corporal," 
was the reply, in a voice that lacked all ring of 
heartiness. "Yet it's mine and no other man's, and 
I gave fair warning when Devlin tried it that I'd 
have no tampering with my possessions. One of the 
men said you were opening it, and I'm glad to find 
you were not. That's all there is to it." 

"That isn't all there is to it, Bell, and you may 
understand it now, first and last. I'm not the man 
to pry into your affairs, nor am I one to take any 
threats. You can't handle me as you did Devlin." 

"jSTot while you wear those, at least," answered 
Bell, with significant nod of his head at the chevrons 
of faded yellow. "Not while " 

"Not while they're either on or off. Bell," was the 
spirited reply. "No man in this squadron can say I 
ever crawled behind a corporal's warrant to shy a 
fight. You insinuated a dirty thing when you vir- 
tually accused me of prying into your affairs. Damn 
your saddle-bags and you, too." 


"That'll do, there, you men," came in sharp, im- 
perative tones the voice of the first sergeant. Even 
the lieutenant had lowered his glass and turned 
about to see whose voice it was that angrily broke 
the drowsy silence of the late afternoon. 

"You can find me whenever you want me, Bell," 
continued the corporal, in low tone, "and there'll be 
no chevrons when we strip." And with that, both 
angered and hurt, the young soldier turned away, 
and the troopers that had begun to gather about the 
two led on to water, leaving Bell, with gleaming eye, 
restrapping his saddle-bag and loosening the girth. 
Any one could see that he was annoyed far more at 
himself than at Corporal Dixon. It is when a man 
realizes that he has wronged another and made an 
ass of himself that his temper is most apt to be snap- 
pish and peppery. Moodily he led his weary horse 
to one side, found a place to water him in a little 
pool among the rocks a few yards farther down, let 
him drink his fill, then flung himself again upon the 

"The Duke's got his dander up again," tittered 
the Irish trooper who had told that Corporal Dixon 
was trying to open the saddle-bag. He was one of 
those ill-conditioned creatures whose happiness seems 
to consist in setting other people by the ears. "Him 
and Dixon'd make a fine match anyhow, wouldn't 

"Shut that ugly mug of yours, Feeney," snapped 

the nearest sergeant. "You've too many snarls to 



answer for now. There'll be no fight between them 
two for all your trying. Even Devlin wouldn't 
have got into his trouble but for your naggin'." 

It was an old story in Hamlin's squadron, though 
it had happened barely a month before, — just as Lee 
and Jackson came splashing through the Rappahan- 
nock on their famous dash around Pope's right flank, 
and Hamlin's squadron was disembarked at Alexan- 
dria and ordered to push to the front. Somehow, 
somewhere in that sleepy old Southern town the Irish 
troopers got a canteen of whiskey. It was soon empty 
and three men were drunk. For joke, as he said, 
Feeney had persuaded Devlin that he would find 
■liquor in that off saddle-bag of Bell's, and Devlin was 
just drunk enough to search, to drag out a tin box 
tied with silken cord, and to be caught in the act by 
the angered owner just as he was in the further mis- 
chief of striving to untie the cord. They left Devlin 
in hospital that night when the squadron rode for 
Centreville. He wasn't well enough to rejoin when 
they came trotting back to the Long Bridge the first 
week of September, and had not been able to catch 
them since, but he sent a message — an Irish message 
— by one of the men who managed to see him a mo- 
ment. "It isn't Bell I've got it in for. I'd perhaps 
ha' done the same by him. It's that blackguard 
Feeney I'll drub if the devil doesn't get him before I 
get back." Devlin had had some reputation as a 
fighter before his impromptu match with Bell, but 
the whole troop saw how utterly he was outclassed 


when Bell drew off his gauntlets, slung them in the 
marauder's face, peeled off his trooper jacket, and 
sailed in. A straight, clean, scientific hitter was the 
beau, an educated hitter, and when the brief, bloody 
battle was over and Devlin, like a human chopping- 
block, was borne off to the hospital tent, there was no 
man present who cared to take up the challenge. Bell 
was panting a little. He was very pale, but his eyes 
were flashing; a tiny stream of blood was trickling 
from his under lip, and his white fists were clinched 
hard. "I disturb no man's belongings in this troop," 
said he, "and no man shall touch mine. Some of you 
have put that young fellow up to prowling in my 
saddle-bags. If they'll dare step up and own it, I'll 
take the biggest of the lot right here and now." 
There were some glances at Feeney, some murmur 
of applause, but no takers. 

"Then I give fair warning," said Bell, "the man 
I catch tampering with these saddle-bags of mine 
will get a lesson he'll never forget." 

And now here, once more, on the banks of the 
Potomac those saddle-bags had come in as a factor 
in what, for the moment, promised to be a very 
pretty quarrel. They were all hungry, were the 
men, and more or less savage as a result. They were 
more in mood for fight than frolic, as troopers are 
wont to be after hours of jog-trot on empty stom- 
achs. But they had begun to fancy the "Duke" in 
spite of themselves — in spite of himself, for he 
courted neither friendship nor popularity. They 


had always liked Dixon, and knew him to be a 
plucky, brainy fellow, with far more prospects for 
the futiire and much less mystery of a past than were 
Bell's possessions. In all their number, Feeney, 
probably, was the only man who would have thought 
of stirring up strife between them. Dixon had conie 
into the troop only a week ahead of Bell, and had 
won his stripes within three months, whereas Bell 
stood in his own light and apparently would not 
have them. ]\Ir. Hamlin had called him up at Har- 
rison's Landing when he rejoined after three days' 
duty at General Kearny's head-quarters, and told 
him promotion was sure to follow such a report as 
Kearny's cliief-of-staff sent in, whereat Bell had de- 
liberately told his squadron leader that promotion 
was the last thing he wanted, — it involved too much 
responsibility. All the same, Hamlin named him 
corporal on the way to the Long Bridge, and that was 
the last he saw of his new non-commissioned officer 
until the provost-marshal's people handed him over 
four days later, arrested in the streets of Washing- 
ton without a pass and apparently majestically drunk. 
To all questions as to his regiment, etc., he had per- 
sisted in saying that he belonged to the New York 
Seventh (which was mustered out of service before 
first Bull Kun), and that he had been left behind 
when they went home. But the provost-marshal's 
people were regulars, and some orderly riding 
by recognized Beau Bell of Hamlin's squadron, 
"Chickahominy" Bell, as some one started to call 


him, and Beau, erect, dignified, unabashed, had 
begged the patrol to come around to a certain stable 
and permit him to examine his saddle-bags and es- 
tablish his own identity. Thither they escorted him, 
and found his horse and equipments all right. Beau 
gravely handed out a ten-dollar bill for his care and 
keep, proposed to his captors a joint visit to the bar 
at Willard's, where he would gladly set up the cham- 
pagne for such charming companions, and professed 
much surprise and disappointment at their refusal. 
He was perfectly quiet and gentlemanly, said they, 
never used a cuss word or gave the faintest trouble, 
only he did want some champagne despite the war 
tariff then beginning to soar. Hamlin received his 
semi-deserter with official sternness, and told him the 
corporalship was revoked. Bell promptly thanked 
the lieutenant and asked if, that point being settled 
in his favor, he might now go and groom his horse. 
Hamlin didn't know whether to be angry or amused. 
He concluded that Bell was an original who would 
bear watching. He had only recently learned that 
it was he who used up Devlin. 

Full twenty minutes had elapsed since the arrival 
of the squadron at the ferry, and still the clumsy 
scow that did duty as a ferry-boat had not reached 
them. The river was not so low as to make fording 
a comfort, besides, Hamlin's orders were not to cross. 
Late as it was, weary as it was, the day's work for 
his command was not yet done. All he asked for was 
a quantity of coffee, sugar, bacon, and bread which 


was now being ferried over. His men could cook 
their own supper among the trees along the south 
bank and be off about their business before moonrise. 
He stood impatiently tapping his booted foot upon 
the rock at the shore and commenting audibly upon 
the draggy movements of the ferrymen when his 
first sergeant again approached. 

"Trooper Bell, sir, asks permission to speak with 
the lieutenant." 

"What's he want?" 

"I don't know, sir. He said he preferred not to 
say except to the commanding officer," 

"Well, let him come." 

A minute later the Duke stood erect before his 
young commander. It was their first interview since 
just before the brush at Crampton's Gap, on which 
occasion Bell had begged to be relieved from duty 
with the wagons, where he had been kept under a 
cloud since the Washington episode, and permitted 
to go in with his troop. 

"I understand that the squadron merely cooks 
supper here, sir, and then rides on. May I have per- 
mission to take my horse and go back with the ferry- 
boat and be gone three days?" 

"Certainly not. Bell. I'm surprised at your 

"Well, sir, I can bring more information from 
that side in three days than the lieutenant can get 
on this in a month." 

Hamlin's eyes looked angry. K^either the words 


nor the tone were such as he was accustomed to from 
his men. "You speak boldly, Bell, and not too re- 
spectfully. One would suppose you knew all about 
my orders. How do you know what information I 

"Because, sir, I was the major's orderly all yester- 
day and last night, and because the man you're look- 
ing for — isn't on this side of the Potomac." 


An hour later even the tiny cook-fires that had 
been glowing along the southern bank were smoul- 
dering into ashes. The troopers had silently re- 
mounted, men and beasts weary yet refreshed by the 
bountiful supply of rations or grain. The ferry scow 
still swung at her moorings from the Virginia side, 
and as the squadron filed away into the darkness of 
the wooded bank, Lieutenant Hamlin stood at the 
water's edge, pencilling some lines in his note-book. 
Then tearing out a leaf he handed it to the infantry 
officer who, with a file of the guard, had come over 
to meet the troopers and inquire for news from the 

"I have signed receipts for forage and rations, 
captain," said Hamlin, "and have written a brief re- 
port to the commanding officer at Frederick. Will 
you kindly take Trooper Bell over with you and pass 
him back should he return this way?" 

The older officer hesitated in some surprise. "I 
don't quite understand," he said. "It has taken a 
general officer's authority to pass a man over, so far." 
And he looked at the simple shoulder-strap of the 
young regular in some perplexity. Even so late as 
the second year of the war there were volunteer offi- 
cers who thought that the regular knew more about 


the minor details of service, at least, than the lately 
commissioned amateur. Hamlin saw his embarrass- 
ment and smiled. 

"It's all right, captain, and I'll be responsible. 
I've written him a pass, and I have no superiors, as 
you see. I'm my own colonel and brigade com- 
mander to-night. Xow I must ride after my men. 
Bell, report to this gentleman. Good-night, cap- 
tain." And with that he turned. The German 
trumpeter promptly led forward the reluctant 
horses; Hamlin swung lightly into saddle and rode 
briskly up the steep incline. "Dutchy" got his foot 
in stirrup, as his own horse started in pursuit, and 
went clattering after his commander, clinging to the 
pommel and mane, and only settling into his seat as 
he disappeared over the top of the bank. Then even 
the sound of hoof-beats died away in the gathering 
darkness, and only the plash of the water broke the 
stillness of the autumn night. By the gleam of his 
lantern the infantry officer stood poring over the 
scrap of paper Hamlin had thrust into his hand. It 
read as follows: ''I have given Trooper Bell au- 
thority to remain on the north side and to visit 
friends down the river after having delivered his 
despatches at Frederick. If he should not be back 
in three days oblige me by sending a squad to the 
Heatherwood place, a mile below you, to make in- 
quiries. It will bear watching anyway." 

Twice the captain read this missive over, and then 
peered into the gloom in search of Bell. The 


trooper's tall figure was only faintly outlined. He 
stood there in statuesque silence, a firm hand closed 
on the bit of his uneasy horse, now pawing impa- 
tiently and striving to see what had become of his 
companions. Finally the captain spoke. 

"Come this way, will you?" he called, hardly 
knowing how to address this tall cavalryman, and 
Bell silently advanced a few paces and again stood 
at attention, his horse once more tugging and pawing 
and switching from side to side, yet never shaking 
loose his master's hold. 

"You are all ready to start?" said the captain, 

"All ready, sir." 

"Then I suppose you might as well lead aboard." 

"After you, sir," said Bell, and waited until the 
officer had stepped across the hinged staging before 
he followed. The boatmen swayed down on their 
rope, the stage was hoisted, and they shoved off 
across the placid surface of the stream, all dotted 
now with faint, phosphorescent night lights, the re- 
flection of the peeping stars. Seeing that the trooper 
remained at the stern of the slow-moving boat, pat- 
ting and reassuring his steed, two or three of the 
guard ranged backward towards him and began their 
soldier scrutiny. The captain himself turned and 
listened. They were men of a far New England 
regiment, serious-minded fellows, deeply imbued 
with the solemnity of the duty which had called 
them so far from home and into scenes so strange. 


They were but a few weeks from their native hills 
and new at campaigning, and this was not only a 
veteran of many fields and a cavalry soldier at that, 
— a something strange even to the farmers' boys 
among them, — but a something stranger still, a 
"regular," a thing no one of their number had ever 
seen before that day, and that some, indeed, had 
never heard of except as wearing a British uniform, 
and being drubbed at Concord Bridge and Bunker 
Hill, They stood somewhat awkwardly by, closely 
watching Bell as he passed his hands over girth and 
buckle and curb and rein, and then rubbed his 
horse's legs as though to see that all was in readiness 
for a night ride. There was sympathy and deep in- 
terest in their gaze, but, though all were eager to 
question, no one of the number seemed to care to be 
the first to speak. 

At last as Bell straightened up and looked about 
him, first at the nearing watch-fire on the northern 
shore, then at the night lights gleaming aloft in the 
autumn skies, one of the party, a farmer's boy who 
knew whereof he spoke, took the best road he could 
think of to a trooper's confidence, and diffidently be- 
stowing a friendly pat on the charger's shoulder, as 
diffidently remarked, "Look's though he'd had no 
loafin' time lately." 

"Devil a minute," was the laconic answer, but it 
was enough. The ice was broken. The others drew 
nearer. The bearded captain — a school-master at 
home — came close to the group. The stranger had 


used an expletive, and thereby established a desired 
fact, — he was not of superior mould. 

"Been fur to-day?" asked the first speaker, pres- 

"Well, not so many miles in a bee-line, but we've 
had a good deal of dodging and prowling and scout- 
ing to do." Bell's stomach was warmed by coffee, or 
was it the unexpected nip from Hamlin's proffered 
flask before the start? and he had grown affable. He 
knew these fellows for recent levies at a glance. 
Their uniforms had not lost their gloss or buttons. 
Their belts and buckles and cap ornaments were un- 
battered, and few old soldiers can resist the joy of 
adulation from the new. Well he understood what 
else they wished to hear, and so went on: "There's 
quite a force of rebel cavalry screening the enemy's 
left flank. He's marching south, and their fellows 
are well out this way, popping through the gaps in 
the range every now and then, and we've been 
stumbling into them for the last three days." 

"Had any fighting?" queried the captain, chiming 
in now, as interested as his men. 

"Well, nothing to speak of, sir," answered the 
trooper, facing instantly towards him and bringing 
heels together and hand to cap visor at once, a some- 
thing that afforded the officer unspeakable comfort. 
It was just what he wanted his men to learn, yet 
hardly knew how to teach. As for them, they noted 
the action as promptly as did their captain, and ex- 
changed quick and appreciative glances. Later that 


night they were showing comrades at the camp-fire 
how the regular did it. 

"We lost a couple of horses shot near Aldie, sir," 
continued Bell, "and left two rebs and one of our 
fellows wounded at a farm-house under the heights. 
You see there is nothing but cavalry over there, — of 
our side, at least, and not too many of us. I don't 
suppose we've three hundred all told, and our squad- 
ron's about used up." 

"Where were they going from here?" asked the 

"I don't know, sir, exactly. Back to join the main 
body, possibly. I suppose we're expected to cover 
all this front out here to prevent their coming 
through the gaps and appearing suddenly across the 
river opposite you. May I ask your regiment, sir?" 

" — th New Hampshire. We're guarding the 
ferry and the bridges along the canal hereabouts. 
We've only been here a few days, and it's pretty 
novel work to my boys. I — 'spose you've been at it 
a good while." 

"JSTot a year, sir. That is," and here the trooper 
faltered a bit, "not a year in the cavalry. I saw 
something of the first month or two of the mischief." 

They were nearing the northern shore now, and 
could dimly see that a little group of shadowy forms 
was gathered at the landing awaiting them. 

"We had an idea," said the officer, after a pause, 
"that most of the rank and file in the regulars were 
foreigners, — Irish and German, — uneducated men, 


but, excuse me, you're an American, and you 
haven't lacked schooling." 

Bell's gravity gave way to an amused grin. 
"We're every kind, sir," said he, without answering 
the hint as to himself. "Mostly reprobates like my- 
self," he added, inaudibly. 

The boat came slowly grinding upon the shelving 
shore, and horse, trooper, and his interrogators all 
lurched at the interrupted way. "I presume the 
lieutenant showed the captain my pass and it's all 
right for me to push ahead at once," said Bell. 

"It's all right," answered the officer. "I may 
have to explain to our colonel, who's just back here 
a piece across the canal, but you can tell him what I 
can't. We'll go right over to his tent." So saying, 
the captain led the way through a group of silent, 
but inquisitive soldiers, dimly visible in the starlight, 
and Bell strode after him, his horse following at his 
heels. They passed some scattered tents, a brightly 
blazing fire, about which, standing or sitting, or 
stretched upon the ground, were a dozen armed and 
belted infantrymen, one or two of whom essayed a 
half-sheepish salute, and then gazed curiously at the 
captain's convoy. They crossed the dry bed of the 
canal by a heavily arched wooden bridge and came in 
sudden view of a cluster of white tentage where men 
were whistling, singing, lolling, or skylarking about, 
and, passing through a bustling canvas village, fol- 
lowing a necessarily irregular camp street, they 
halted presently in front of a large and more preten- 


tious tent where paced a sentrj and within whose 
guarded walls could be heard manly voices in lively 
chat, while the shadows of stalwart forms were 
thrown upon the screen of its sloping roofs. The 
captain tapped at the tent-pole, and evoked no reply. 
The flaps were down, so he pushed one aside and in- 
serted his face. 

"Colonel Clark/' said he, "can I see you a mo- 

"Hello, captain! That you?" answered a ringing 
voice. "Come right in, Frisby. Come in." 

The instant Trooper Bell heard the name of the 
commanding officer, he stopped short in his tracks. 
The instant he heard his voice he was restored to 
action, sprang to his horse's side and thrust his left 
foot into stirrup. 

"I can't very well," answered Captain Frisby. 
"I've got a courier here whom I brought over from 
the cavalry party. He wants to push right on in the 
direction of Frederick, but I said he must see you 
first. Can you come out a moment, sir?" 

"Certainly," was the hearty answer, and the offi- 
cer came striding massively forward, the tent floor 
creaking and bending beneath his weight. "Where's 
your orderly?" he asked, as he threw open the flap 
and gazed out into the night. Captain Frisby 
turned quickly to where he had left Bell but a mo- 
ment before, — and horse and rider had vanished. 

i^ot five seconds later, out under the stars to the 
northwest, there was sudden shout, challenge, order, 
and warning all jumbled into one. 


"Who comes there? Haltorl'llfire ! Halt! Halt!" 
And then — Bang! 

All to no purpose. Far to the northward, spurred 
to mad excitement, galloping as though for life, a 
horse went tearing through the gloaming, reckless 
of pursuing shout or shot, and when rider Bell drew 
rein and calmed him down, and wiped his own heated 
brow, he muttered malediction on his luck, listened 
a moment to assure him no pursuit was to be 
dreaded, then, quitting the northern road and rein- 
ing abruptly to the right as he came to the first cross- 
ing, he once more urged his horse to a lope and mut- 
tered between his set teeth, "J^ot for a fortune — 


The bees were humming about their hives in the 
old orchard. The sun was sending slanting beams 
through the leafy branches and painting the slopes 
in shifting patches of gold and green. There was on 
every side the drowsy sound of buzzing insect life, 
and from below the languorous plashing of waters. 
Away off to the northwestward, beyond the broad, 
fertile, hamlet-dotted valley, a deep rift was cut into 
the long chain of blue hills that stretched from north 
to south, and from this rift a silver ribbon came 
winding through the middle distance, joined from 
the heart of the northward valley by a slender 
thread, shining and shimmering as itself, that poured 
into the larger only a mile away and seemed so po- 
tent a force as to bend the great river in almost ab- 
rupt right angle. Aloft the vault of heaven burned 
unclouded. Southward a soft haze seemed rising 
above the dense groves of timber, fringing the banks 
of the broader stream as it swept towards the sea. 
Westward, as though backing the barrier range, 
heavy masses of cloud rolled up against the blue. 
Creeping slowly southward along the smaller stream, 
a long train of white dots seemed on its way towards 
a thick cluster of other white dots, nestling in the 

timber at the water's edge, while parallel with the 

4 49 


broader river there wound and curved and twisted 
the long, snaky bed of the old canal, ruined, for the 
time being, by recent raiders in Confederate gray. 
Here and there, in the timber at the water's edge, 
thin columns of bluish smoke curled upward through 
the tree-tops, and farther away across the valley, in 
heavier masses and from different points, lazily drift- 
ing smoke clouds thinned and finally vanished in the 
upper air. Away off to the southwestward there rose, 
in several places, between the eye and the blue-black 
line of the heights, dull, dun-colored masses of cloud 
that were drifting slowly southward, despite the fact 
that not a breath of wind had rustled the forest 
leaves since dawn. Down in the meadow under- 
neath the slope on which was perched the orchard a 
dozen cows were drowsing in the shade, and the faint 
tinkle of bells came floating like far-away music. 
Somewhere, just beyond the hedgerow of wild-rose- 
bushes, at the northward side, over whose tops the 
roofs of some barn-like structures could be seen, a 
horse had been browsing but a while ago, for the 
swish of his tail and the impatient stamp as he strove 
to drive off the winged pests that hovered about him, 
and the occasional h-r-r-r-r that told of equine peace 
and contentment had frequently been heard, but he, 
too, seemed to have lain do^vn somewhere for a 
snooze, and was heard no more. Over across the 
orchard, on its southern side, a venerable wooden 
paling was peeping in spots through the bushes and 
shrubbery by which it was well-nigh hidden. Here 


and there were gaps in hedge and paling both, evi- 
dently utilized in by-gone hours by animals both 
two- and four-footed, resentful of the fact that no 
gate-way broke the defiant line. Barbed wire was 
unknown in those days, and the gaps stood open now, 
available either for marauders or defence, and the 
stripped condition of the trees too plainly indicated 
that the former had had the better of it thus far. 
Only a few high-perched apples or pears remained 
to tell the story. Bounding the orchard at the east 
was another hedge and paling, and a dislocated gate 
that swung, cat-a-cornered, from its upper hinge and 
could not close at all despite the persuasive powers 
of a ball and chain, and through the yard-wide gap 
of the gate-way and the thick foliage beyond, occa- 
sional glimpses of dingy white wall, whiter columns, 
and one green-latticed window were had, — the west- 
ward gable end and southern portico of an old- 
fashioned Southern mansion, one that unquestion- 
ably must have known far better days, and that now, 
like nature all around it, had gone placidly, con- 
tentedly to sleep. 

For over an hour not a human being had been seen 
or heard about the barn, out-houses, or orchard. 
Once or twice, somewhere down along the old tow- 
path that skirted the canal, some drowsy voices had 
been uplifted, and a big hound with flapping ears 
and a face expressive of general benevolence had 
roused himself from a cool bed he had pawed out 
under the bushes, and cocked his head on one side 


as mucli as to say, "I wonder who can be fool enough 
to stay awake at this hour of the day;" then as the 
sounds subsided he, too, dropped back to doze. It 
was long after four o'clock, so told the mouldering 
face of the old sun-dial on the lawn in front of the 
colonnaded portico, and even the voices down along 
the canal had drowsed away. The shadow of the 
copper arm was crawling close to the antiquated V 
when at last the silence was broken. Somewhere 
across the lazily flowing river there rang, sharp and 
clear, the report of a rifle, a report that went echoing 
down the broadening valley. Somewhere down along 
the towpath there was quick stir and excitement, and 
an authoritative voice was heard in brief order, "Fall 
in the guard!" Somewhere at the rear of the man- 
sion a door slammed aggressively, and a feminine 
voice, shrill and piercing, was heard in confident 
summons, in answer to which, rubbing his eyes and 
stumbling sleepily into the sunshine, a big, burly 
negro, clad only in loose cotton shirt and trousers, 
appeared in front of the wood-shed and humbly 
answered, "Yeassum." 

"Miss Belle wants that horse saddled right away." 


"Don' you go to sleep again while you're 'bout it, 


And then the hitherto invisible lady advanced 
from the regions at the rear, tripped briskly through 
the garden at the west side of the house, and came 


with a vivacious, bouncing step between the decrepit 
gate-posts, dealing a contemptuous kick at the gate 
as she did so, and once fairly in the orchard poured 
forth her soul in song. 

It could not be called a musical voice. Neither 
in style nor execution could she be considered a 
pleasing singer. Her lay was one of the folk-songs 
of the ante-bellum days, descriptive, as were most of 
them, of the matchless charms of some village maid 
whose early dissolution, told in most pathetic verse, 
seemed the invariable penalty attached to such pre- 
ternatural gifts of mind and person. Following, as 
did this rural ditty, so closely upon the recent 
silence, its effect was intensified upon the hearers, 
who were fortunately few. 

" 'Twas a ca-am still night and the moon's pale light 
Sho-one soft o'er hill a-and va-ale," 

she began, and the old hound moved uneasily. A 
black felt hat with a straggling feather in it loomed 
up across the hedge towards the south^ and a sun- 
burnt, fuzz-covered face peered eagerly through the 
bushes, but the girl gave no heed. She was walking 
rapidly through the orchard as she sang, and gazing 
expectantly down the slope towards the little grove 
that lay close by the water's edge to the west. 
Reaching the boundary of the enclosure she stopped 
short and, louder, shriller than before, gave voice 
to the chorus. 


" Aw Lillay — sweet Lillay — dee-ur Lillay Day-ul, 
Aw the wild rose blossoms awer the little green grave 
"Whey-ur lies sw-ee-eet JAMay — uh Dale." 

And then she paused and listened, and the fuzzy face 
under the black hat at the fence gazed more ear- 
nestly than at first, for the girl was worth seeing, 
even though she couldn't sing. 

She certainly was not more than eighteen. She 
was short in stature, but plump and round and 
wholesome as a ripe, sound winter apple. She was 
erect, and she moved with a vigorous, natural ease 
and grace. Her cheeks were rosy, her eyes and hair 
almost jet-black, her lips red and full, and her little 
teeth milk-white. She wore a loose summer jacket, 
open at the round, white throat. Her skirt was 
shaped, after the fashion of the day, like one of the 
beehives, — round, inflated, and voluminous. A 
broad-brimmed straw hat dangled upon her arm. 
Her little feet were cased in queer, shining, black 
silk gaiters that laced up the side and ended ab- 
ruptly at the ankle. Her hair, parted in the middle, 
was brushed down low over the temples, puffed out 
over the ears, and done up in some kind of a knot 
low down at the back of the neck. The slanting 
sunbeams dazzled her; she shaded her eyes with 
her hand, which was not as white as it might have 
been, and in so doing revealed a plump little arm 
that was as white as her pretty teeth. She was an 
impatient little body, as any one could see, and the 
man under the black hat did see, for she stamped 


her foot on tlie wooden bench to which she had sud- 
denly mounted, and said, "Botheration!" most em- 
phatically, and then when it looked as though she 
were just about to begin to sing again, the black hat 
came poking through a hole in the hedge, the fuzz- 
covered, sunburnt face came after it, and finally a 
tall, slim sprig of a soldier boy, dressed in the un- 
couth, single-breasted frock coat of the early war 
days, straightened up and strode towards her, duck- 
ing under the lower branches as he came. !Not until 
he was close to her side did she hear him. First she 
gave utterance to the beginning of a squeal, then 
switched off to contemptuous, even indignant per- 

"Aw, here you are! I thought you'd nevuh 

"That's what I've been thinking of you for a 
whole hour," was the mild response. 

"Well, / have something to do, I'll have you 
know," was the majestic rejoinder. "You have 
nothing, but eat, sleep, and make believe guard a 
rotten old bridge. Why didn't you speak when I 

"Didn't like to interrupt your song. It was real — 
splendid," said the tall youth, with lavish admiration 
in his eyes. 

"Well, better late than never. Least it will be if 
you do what I tell you. What's the captain's name 
down at the bridge?" 

" 'Tain't a captain. It's the lieutenant, — Ho- 


"Well, you tell Mr. Homans Madam Heatherwood 
wants to see him before sunset, and the quicker he 
comes the better, and don't let her catch you in this 
orchard or round these premises, or she'll set Patsy 
on you sure as your name's — well, what's your real 
name, anyhow? I believe you're trying to fool me. 
Who ever heard of a man's being called Reuben 

"That's my name, anyhow — prove it by the par- 
son any time or by the muster-roll. i!^ow, aren't you 
going to tell me yourn ?" 

"Mine, as I told you," very majestically, "is Miss 
Wad(icZ?. Don't you dare call me Waddle, as that 
horror of a captain did. He'd better not show his 
ugly face here again. Our young man's back from 
the wars, I'd have you know, and when he's here no 
Yankees need apply." 

" 'Tisn't your last name I care for," persisted Pri- 
vate Pettingill. "That'll be changed soon enough, 
I guess. What's the first name? Kitty, Patty, 

"Sally — ^your grandmother ! D'you think my peo- 
ple had no sense of decency when they named me? 
You cla' out now and tell your captain what Madam 
Heatherwood said, and you can't fetch him up here 
any too quick." 

Then once again, sudden and sharp, a rifle-shot 
rang out across the placid waters, and the echoes, as 
before, crashed away down-stream. The girl started 
nervously and anxiously and gazed back at the 


house. "Do hurry, Mr. — Mr. Pettingill," she 
pleaded, "and I'll tell you my name next time." 

"But — Gosh all hemlock! Say, don't run away 
yet," he begged, as she started as though to leave 
him. "I've been waitin' all day to see you, and 
maybe they'll shoot me dead for not bein' there 
when the guard fell in a while ago." 

"Fell in what?" she asked, and then, as with sud- 
den rejoicing, "the canal? That would do some of 
them good." 

"Fell in ranks," he exclaimed, cubbishly trying 
to seize her sunburnt hand, a proceeding which she 
readily defeated, even though letting him come dan- 
gerously near success. "There's no use in my telling 
the lieutenant to come up now. He knows all about 
your having wounded rebs in there. They're both 
paroled, or exchanged, or something. He told us 
fellows all about it two days ago. They can't do the 
Union any harm laid up as they are, but the lieu- 
tenant says if any of us fellers get shot over yonder," 
and with a nod of his black-hatted head the soldier 
indicated the opposite Virginia shore, "we needn't 
think to get out of prison to be cared for at our 
sweetheart's home " 

" 'Course not," interposed Miss "VVaddell, with 
pert promptitude. "What lady do^vn South would 
be having a Yankee beau for a gift? Fd have to be 
hard up for a lover even here before Fd think of 
such a thing." And here the damsel shot a sidelong 
glance from the depths of her saucy eyes. How 


much could the fellow stand, she wondered. Not 
much more, apparently. He was vexed already, and 
seriausly, too, for he turned sharply away, dropping 
instantly the slender wrist of which he had just man- 
aged to possess himself. "VVas he going to leave her 
like that, disenchanted, disenthralled? No woman 
on earth could stand that. 

"Wait one moment," she faltered. "I forgot 
another thing Miss Heatherwood told me to say." 
But Private Pettingill had already got half-way 
back to the hole in the fence. "Mr. Pettingill, don't 
be — silly. / didn't mean anything — Reuben," she 
continued, and the Reuben mollified him. He 
turned with rapture in his eyes and came striding 

"Say it again," he said. 

"Say what?" she asked, in wide-eyed innocence, 
— "that no Southern lady'd have a Yankee for a 

Again he turned from her. 

"Or was it only just" — tantalizing pause — 

And before he could reply, "Bang!" the third 
time, and clearer, sharper than before, the rifle-shot 
rang out beyond the river, and gazing across the 
stream both girl and soldier could see where a faint 
little patch of powder-smoke was sailing aloft in the 
dense timber. Almost immediately another voice, a 
woman's voice, clear, bell-like, penetrating, rose 
upon the air, — 


"Laura! Where are you?" 

"There, now, you've made her come hunting for 
me. You've got to go. Mind you don't forget — to- 
morrow." And with this parting piece of coquetry, 
away she ran, bounding up the worn pathway, 
through the ruined gate, and out of his sight. Al- 
most at the same instant, too, the negro came forth 
from the stable-yard, leading a tall bay horse 
equipped with cavalry housing of the United States 
army. The dark-blue saddle-cloth edged with yel- 
low, with the regimental number in the corner, was 
new and glossy. The bridle and breast-strap were 
black and polished, so were the holsters at the pom- 
mel. Even Pettingill, volunteer infantryman of a 
few weeks' service, knew at a glance it was a cavalry 
officer's horse and equipment, and suddenly, as the 
girl would have started round to the back of the 
house, the big front door was heard to open and out 
upon the broad porch came a tall, distinguished-look- 
ing officer, and with him a tall, graceful girl, whose 
eyes were upturned to his in silent pleading and fare- 
well. The sight was too much for Laura. She turned 
in her tracks, ran to the end of the house, and, barely 
exposing half her pretty face, peered eagerly around 
the corner, saw him hand the darky groom a douceur 
that made that humble servitor bow and grin and 
scrape with delight, and then, bending forward and 
taking both the slender white hands of the tall girl 
in his own, the officer kissed her white forehead, 
turned suddenly away, sprang to his saddle, and 


rode clattering down the pebbly drive to the road 

"My sakes alive!" exclaimed Miss Laura Waddell. 
"If Captain Tighlman was to see that, wounds 
couldn't keep him abed. And to think of Belle 
Heatherwood kissing a Yankee, even if he is an 

Meantime, Private Pettingill had made the best 
of his way down the wooded slope, and presently 
found himself among a curious knot of his comrades, 
all demanding explanation of his whereabouts when 
the guard formed a while before, but the soldier 
parried all inquiry by saying he had been away on a 
mission for the lieutenant and must report to him at 
once. Another moment found him standing before 
a serious-looking young man in the dark-blue frock 
that, but for its brass buttons and shoulder-straps, 
would have been declared the coat of a country par- 
son, so utterly clerical, so totally unmilitary, was its 
cut. Leaning against a tree close at hand were 
the officer's sword and belt and the crimson sash so 
soon discarded when once the wearer fairly took the 
field. . 

"I was asked to tell you that Mrs. Heatherwood 
wanted to see you up at the house before sunset, lieu- 
tenant," said the soldier. "There was one of our 
officers there." 

"One of ours?" asked the lieutenant, in much sur- 
prise. "When did he get there? When did he 


"I don't know. He rode out not ten minutes ago, 
down towards the east. He belongs to the cavalry." 

"And we have guards on every road," exclaimed 
the lieutenant, "Are you sure, Pettingill? Describe 
his dress." 

"Just like yours, as far as I could see from a 
distance, only I saw the yellow border to his 
saddle-cloth before I started. Say, here he comes 

Surely enough, out from a wooded aisle close at 
hand, at easy, quiet gait, came riding the same tall, 
stalwart officer, dressed in trimly fitting cavalry uni- 
form. His cap with its crossed sabres, his equipments, 
his glistening scabbard and hilt were all as handsome 
in quality as his dress and the high, well-made boots. 
His face was oval, deeply tanned and clean shaved 
but for the light-brown moustache and imperial. 
His blue eyes were full of intelligence and fire. His 
form as he sat erect in saddle was splendidly 
modelled. He looked the picture of the officer and 
the gentleman, and his cordial, ringing voice, the 
moment he spoke, intensified the pleasant impression 
he made. 

"Good-evening, sir," he said, courteously raising 
his cap to the young commander of the detachment. 
"Let me introduce myself. I am Captain Belden, of 
General Hooker's fetaff, on my way to Harper's Ferry 
after a mission to Washington. I heard that firing 
across the river and turned back to ask what it 


"I don't know," was the slow reply. "We can't 
get over from here. A boat with a patrol crossed a 
mile above us about twenty minutes ago, apparently 
to hunt up the cause. The second bullet came right 
over here somewhere. Our men could see no sign of 
the fellow who stirred us up." 

"Odd," said the horseman. "I heard three shots, I 
think, and turned out of my way to inquire. I knew 
you had pickets every few hundred yards along here. 
Well, good-evening to you. Oh! would you mind 
passing me out, as some of your sentries are vigilant 
and suspicious both?" 

The infantryman picked up sword and belt and 
said, "I suppose it's all right, Er — will you come 
this way?" 

At the outpost the corporal of the picket was duly 
notified, and the captain passed on out of the lines. 

"Beg pardon, sir," asked the officer of the guard, 
"but what name was yours? I may have to give 
account. I didn't quite catch it." 

"Belden — Grosvenor Belden, at your service. 
Thank you a thousand times. Good-evening, lieu- 

"Grosvenor Belden," muttered the lieutenant, as 
the trooper rode away, "And what was Grosvenor 
doing at old mother Heatherwood's? 'Now, if I 
weren't new to this business 1 should say a fellow 
ought to show his credentials, or something, riding 
away from his regiment as he is. But he couldn't 
have come thus far without being overhauled time 


and again. If the provost-marshal's people have 
passed him along I suppose we can." 

Instead, however, of returning to the main body 
of his little command, the young volunteer stood 
there at the turn of the country road, following with 
his eyes the graceful figure of the horseman, as he 
rode easily and leisurely away. He had passed out 
from the shade of the grove, and the golden sun- 
shine, slanting almost to the horizontal, poured 
forth upon the soldierly form and upon the power- 
ful, spirited horse. The brilliant steel of the new 
scabbard glistened like a mirror and threw off daz- 
zling flashes of white light, and the lieutenant won- 
dered how it was that this young gallant should look 
so trim and spick and span when all other officers 
who had happened to pass with their commands were 
dusty and travel-stained. Something was queer 
about it, but he couldn't tell what. It was too late 
to question now. The vanishing horseman, still 
riding leisurely on, was swallowed up in the shades 
of another grove, three hundred yards up-stream, 
and at last was lost to view. 

And then the lieutenant bethought him of the 
message brought by Pettingill. Turning slowly 
away, he went back to his tent, left there his sword 
and belt, and then clambered the wooded bluff across 
the road. The path was old and worn, the ascent 
was steep, and once at the top and in sight of the por- 
tico, he stopped to recover breath. The sun was just 
ready to dip behind the screen of the distant Loudoun 


heights, and the shadows of the fluted cohimns were 
thrown far across the eastward lawn and the pasture- 
field beyond. Above and below many of the win- 
dows of the mansion were open to receive the soft, 
flower-scented air, and at one of these, on the main 
floor, a woman sat, a woman with silvery hair and a 
face high-bred, refined, yet worn with care and 
anxiety, if not with illness. Evidently she was look- 
ing for his coming, for she rose at once and presently 
appeared at the main hall-way, beckoning her half- 
reluctant visitor to approach. 

The lieutenant hesitated a moment, cast a back- 
ward glance down through the thick growth of tim- 
ber that covered the steep bank, as though to assure 
himself that all was well with his little camp, then 
came forward to meet the lady of the house. He 
raised his forage-cap as he stood before her, simply 
saying, "You sent for me, madam." 

"I did, sir, and to ask a favor at your hands. For- 
give me for referring to the fact that the officer who 
preceded you in command was here so long as to be- 
come quite one of the family, and to visit us fre- 
quently, and now that he — Captain Ainslie — is 
gone we feel very friendless. I know we are neces- 
sarily objects of suspicion, especially since the battle 
and my boys were brought here wounded, but what- 
ever their sympathies and mine, we are disarmed, 
we are harmless. My son's wounds will keep him 
on his back at least a month. My nephew's are less 
severe, but he has given his parole. We can't be 


very dangerous, can we?" she asked, with an ahnost 
tearful smile, looking pleadingly into the young 
volunteer's troubled face. "You have your own 
mother at home, have you not? Can't you fancy 
how she would feel with you brought back to her 
roof as I brought my boy from that wretched farm- 
house at the Gap, and if our soldiers w^ere keeping 
guard over your home as you are over mine " 

"Surely our guard has been a protection, Mrs. 
Heatherwood," he interposed, a little stiffly. 

"In many ways, yes," she answered, "yet of late it 
galls — sometimes. What I have to ask is such a 
little thing, yet it means so much to us. You heard 
— those shots across the river, did you not? They 
meant no harm to you, no wrong to your govern- 
ment, but they mean there is news of serious conse- 
quence to us. Laura's home — my niece's home — 
was over there towards Leesburg. Her father took 
up arms with his State when Virginia seceded. Her 
mother, my only sister, has been dead many a long 
year. Her two brothers are in the Confederate ser- 
vice, in the cavalry. The old home is abandoned ex- 
cept by faithful family servants. It is one of them 
that has come to the opposite bank, and has been 
striving to call our attention. He has letters for 
Laura. You may read every line, if need be. He 
brings us tidings of her home, of her father and 
brothers. Surely it isn't giving too much aid and 
comfort to an enemy in distress" — and here flitted 
about the lines of her mouth the same sad, pleading 



smile — "to let that poor child hear from those she 
loves? Our boat lies down there under the willows. 
May we not send our negro over?" 

The officer hesitated. "My orders are strict," said 
he, "to allow no communication with the opposite 
shore. I cannot let him go. I could not go myself; 
but I'll tell you, Mrs. Heatherwood, they sent a boat 
over from the post a mile farther up-stream. They 
are sure to find that messenger, if he wants to be 
found, and I will go or send up there the moment 
we see them coming back. Will that answer?" 

A shade of deepest disappointment, even of deep 
distress, swept over her face. "I fear not. He'll 
never give his letter or messages — to your comrades. 
Oh, think " But her plea ended abruptly. 

Again from the southern shore rang out the re- 
port of the rifle. Again the echoes went reverber- 
ating down from bank to bank, and then gave way to 
new alarm, for fierce and sudden the crash of a vol- 
ley of musketry woke the echoes anew, and with 
blanching face Madam Heatherwood tottered within 
her threshold, while the Union officer, springing to 
the bank, went plunging down the steep to join his 


Again the sun had sunk behind the distant jagged 
line of heights, its parting rajs thrown aslant 
through a red-gold haze of dust rising far to the 
westward beyond dense groves and copses. From 
somewhere among the trees up-stream along the 
Virginia shore a heavy cloud of blue-black smoke 
had risen and hung awhile, then, drifting away be- 
fore the slow, sluggish breath of the coming night 
wind, had given place to eddying volumes, pallid 
and gray, telling that the conflagration had spent 
its force and that there was nothing left to consume 
within the ruined walls of some homestead, sacrificed 
within the hour upon the altar of the god of war. 
All along the banks of the canal bed little groups 
of men in Union blue were gazing curiously and ex- 
citedly across the swirling river. Above at the ferry^ 
and here underneath the wooded steep on which was 
perched the old Heatherwood place, the guard still 
stood in ranks, and among the tents of the !New 
Hampshire regiment, to the east of the Monocacy,. 
Colonel Clark still held his strong battalion under 
arms, awaiting further development from the south- 
ern shore. Somewhere over there opposite Heather- 
wood, beyond the thick woods at the sharp bend, 

there had been a savage fight of over ten min- 



utes' duration, — a cavalry affair, undoubtedly, for 
mounted men in the yellow-laced jackets of Uncle 
Sam were even now twinkling in and out of the 
forest aisles, some leading spare horses, some aiding 
wounded comrades, some riding eagerly down to the 
water's edge in search of a drink for themselves and 
their thirsting steeds. Up-stream at the landing the 
flat ferry-boat was still moored at the Virginia bank, 
and several of the patrol recently sent across to in- 
vestigate the cause of the single shots were seen 
slowly returning, leading with them two or three 
men in dusty gray, men who limped or faltered pain- 
fully, and officers on the Maryland shore were curi- 
ously studying these groups with their field-glasses 
and commenting on the situation. 

At the ferry. Captain Frisby, whose company was 
of the guard, had unhesitatingly announced the 
Union troopers to be men of Hamlin's squadron, 
the same that appeared to them the evening pre- 
vious, for he had recognized Hamlin himself, but 
who on earth were their opponents? The yells that 
followed the volleying outburst were unmistakable, 
so were these few uniforms, but Stuart, with his bold 
column of raiders, was believed to be far away at the 
moment. Only old "Foul weather," as the troopers 
designated the field-officer commanding the detach- 
ment of Union regulars scouting east of the Lou- 
doun range, was supposed to be in that section of 
Virginia. Yet the fury and volume of the firing, 
brief though the engagement had been, and the en- 


thusiasm of the enemy as shown by their exultant 
yells, were proof enough that Confederate cavalry 
had managed to force some gap in the screening 
ridge to the west and come exploring down to the 
very banks of the Potomac, right here to its sharpest 
elbow, almost directly opposite the mouth of the 

And old Foulweather had got wind of them only 
just in time, too. The curtaining ridge lay barely 
five miles away to the west, and Leesburg, where 
Bob Hamlin had left his leader on the previous day, 
could almost be seen from the upper windows of the 
Heatherwood house, nestling in the heart of the 
beautifully wooded country just beyond the next 
great bend of the Potomac, where once more the 
majestic river swept eastward to the sea. Foul- 
weather was a weazel who slept, when he deigned 
to sleep at all, with one eye open and the saddle for 
a pillow, and Foulweather had need to be alert, for 
every hamlet in Loudoun, Fauquier, and Fairfax 
Counties teemed with active sympathizers of the 
South, women who had given husbands and fathers, 
sons and brothers, to the cause, and would have 
given their heart's blood as well. Men there were 
none left to offer old Foulweather battle, but he 
would have met them by battalions, single-handed 
with his own old squadron, rather than a group of 
those rural Virginia dames, armed only with their 
wits and tongues. Somewhere among those farms, 
hamlets, or stately old colonial homesteads there had 


been in hiding ever since Antietam one of the 
boldest leaders of Virginia horse. Slightly wounded 
in some cavalry aftair of outposts, he had been left 
behind when Lee made his first leap into Maryland. 
A negro bearing letters to him from comrades in the 
First Virginia Cavalry had been captured by Foul- 
weather's scouts, but when that burly leader swooped 
with his squadron on Leesburg and surrounded the 
home of the young gallant, he found no foeman 
worthy his steel, and his ears buzzed for hours 
through the vituperation excited by his unbidden 
call. Foulweather's temper was never the best, 
neither was the court language of the old-time dra- 
goon, and he said things that made Bob Hamlin 
blush for him, and that disgusted his occasional 
orderly. Trooper Bell. Foulweather had gone back 
towards Aldie with most of his force, sending Ham- 
lin with orders to communicate with the pickets at 
the Potomac opposite the Monocacy, and then to 
scout the little valley west of the first range, for 
Foulweather was bound to capture Captain Fairfax 
if fighting, scouting, or searching could do it. And 
even in the midst of his schemings, into the midst of 
his force, in fact, Captain Fairfax's own troop had 
burst through Clark's Gap, swept like a whirlwind 
into Leesburg, followed their guide to within sight 
and hail of Heatherwood when they found their cap- 
tain no longer there, and then had been met and grap- 
pled by Hamlin's squadron, galloping back to inter- 
cept them, and had stemmed and held and fought it 


like men until enabled successfully to withdraw, 
Bob Hamlin storming and old Foulweather swearing 
at their heels, with only a few prisoners to pay for all 
their trouble. 

The sounds of strife had died away to the west. 
The pursuit was feeble, for the Southerners were 
fresh and few in number, the Union troopers worn 
with long days and nights of scout and sleeplessness; 
their horses, too, were "leg weary" and jaded. When 
darkness settled down and the ferry-boat came drift- 
ing over with its cargo of wounded prisoners, officers 
and men intermingled, as was the fashion of the 
early war days. Colonel Clark's New Hampshire 
soldiers swarmed along the bank, eager for details 
of the exciting event. There were nearly a dozen 
Union troopers shot or sabred. There were only five 
Virginians in their gray cavalry jackets and gayly 
plumed hats. Four of these were sabred, one had 
been dragged by a wounded charger. All were suffer- 
ing, but all were silent. With a later boat-load came 
old Foulweather himself, exhausting questions and 
threats in vain effort to extract from the prisoners 
information as to whether the dash had been success- 
ful, whether Captain Fairfax had indeed been found, 
rescued, and hurried away by his triumphant men. 
The Virginians grinned, partly from pain, partly 
from pleasure, and would only say that they believed 
and would bet the result was all that was hoped for. 
They couldn't say for sure their beloved captain was 
actually carried away; they wouldn't say where he 


was in any event. All they agreed upon was the re- 
mark, extracted from one of their number, "If Cap- 
tain Fairfax did get away, you'll know it inside of 
twelve hours, sure as you're born." And this did not 
comfort Foulweather in the least. 

An ugly man in his talk was Foulweather, as has 
been said, and he was the madder for being tricked, 
baffled, and outdone by that little troop of Vir- 
ginians. Knowing every bridle-path and rabbit- 
track, these natives had easily evaded his patrols and 
scouts, had taken prompt advantage of the splitting 
up of his command, and had swooped down from the 
heights the moment he and Hamlin had, between 
them, uncovered the ground they sought to pene- 
trate. Only by chance did Hamlin get word of the 
dash, and, wheeling about, had headed for Leesburg 
at the trot, sending couriers 'cross country to his 
superior, urging that Foulweather cover all the roads 
to the Gaps and thus cut off the Confederates' re- 
treat, while he, Hamlin, attacked them in front when 
found. He found them several miles nearer and 
many minutes sooner than he expected, and got a 
volley before the melee of the charge that followed. 

Hamlin had brawn and grit, discipline and num- 
bers to oppose to the daring and enthusiasm of 
Southerners fighting on their own soil, and speedily 
bore them back. But when he had them fairly 
headed for the Heights again, and rejoiced at 
thought of the trap into which he was driving them, 
Iq! Foulweather came lumbering up from the south 


to join in the pursuit, having followed the enemy's 
trail rather than a comrade's advice. And so the 
chance was lost. A single troop of Virginia horse 
had dared and outwitted three squadrons of regular 
cavalry. Xo wonder Foulweather said and Hamlin 
thought unpublishable things. But while Foul- 
weather audibly damned his luck, Hamlin silently 
damned his chief, and with better right. One thing 
was certain, Foulweather had not found Fairfax; 
the Confederates probably had, and this was the re- 
sult of his communication to Colonel Clark when the 
two detachment commanders met as the tattoo drums 
were beating along the Potomac, while up on the 
bluff, at the Heatherwood place, two hearts were 
beating harder still, those of Belle Heatherwood and 
her patrician mother. 

j^ot a light was visible in the old Maryland man- 
sion when, towards ten o'clock. Lieutenant Homans 
climbed the narrow pathway, piloting a puffing and 
much-disgusted major of Union cavalry, who never 
appeared to good advantage out of his proper sphere, 
the saddle. Behind them trailed an adjutant and a 
brace of orderlies. Once clear of the shrubbery, the 
Xew Hampshire lieutenant stood well out on the 
lawn, pointed to the ghostly white columns of the 
portico and the dim fagade behind them, unbroken 
by the twinkle of a solitary candle. 

"You can see for yourself, sir, they're all gone to 
bed, and I don't like to disturb them now." 

Foulweather came panting to his side, spread his 


booted legs well apart, braced his gauntlets on his 
hips, and gazed. Presently his adjutant followed, 
a tall young man, who seemed out of place in the 
clerical-looking frock coat of the day, and had little 
of the dragoon about him in form, face, or manner, 
and then the orderlies, and all stood and waited for 
the major to open his oracular lips. Foul weather 
continued to breathe hard and stare about him a few 
minutes, and finally said, "You know the way. Go 
and knock at the door." 

Lieutenant Ilomans drew back in apparent dis- 
tress. "Of course I'll do it if you say so," he hesi- 
tatingly said, and it was evident that the young sol- 
dier had been too short a time at the front to learn 
much of the realities of war, "but I don't like waking 
people up who have had so much trouble. It seems 
mean, somehow." 

"It's business, all the same," was the gruff answer. 
"I've got to see that old lady before she's a night 
older. So bang away." 

For a moment Mr. Homans looked irresolutely 
into the grim features of the veteran regular, then 
slowly turned from him and tiptoed his way along 
the worn gravel path and up the low flight of steps, 
as though reluctant to make the faintest noise until 
compelled to wake the echoes with the old-fashioned 
brass knocker. The field-officer slowly and bulkily 
strode across the lawn, and then with his eyes upon 
the dark windows, his hands braced on his hips and 
his sabre trailing, he again planted his sturdy legs 


wide apart and awaited results. Behind him in 
silence the tall young subaltern and the two cavalry 
orderlies ranged themselves and listened. The night 
was still and starlit. Sounds of soldier song and 
mirth had come floating up on the soft night wind 
but a few minutes before from the camp-fires up- 
stream, but now the signal for lights out and silence 
had been sounded and even the distant bay of watch- 
dog had died away. A lone whip-poor-will earlier 
in the evening had piped its plaintive song from the 
forest depths across the waters, but had tired of its 
unsupported eifort and apparently dozed to sleep. 
Far over towards Frederick Junction the rumble of 
heavy freight trains could be dimly heard, telling 
that the rents and breaks torn by Stuart's raiding 
troopers had been repaired, and that supplies were 
again being trundled to the front. Somewhere, 
closer at hand, the muffled stamp of horses' hoofs 
was heard on hollow wooden flooring, and Homans 
whispered explanation as they climbed the path to- 
gether. There was a superannuated steed belonging 
to the estate that dozed and dreamed about the 
orchard by day and was stabled in the mouldering 
barn by night. 

And just as Homans disappeared into the shadow 
of the portico, still tiptoeing, the muffled stamp was 
heard again, and all of a sudden, as though in eager 
answer, or equally eager inquiry for a night's lodg- 
ing, from somewhere over among the dim slopes and 
night shades at the east, came the shrill neigh of a 


tired horse, — a sound stifled almost as suddenly' as it 
began; and it was this abrupt stop rather than the 
neigh itself that caused old Foulweather to turn 
sharply to the east, mutter, "Hullo, what's that?" 
and then, in loud stage whisper, to call to Homans, 
"Hold on! hold on! don't knock." 

Then tiptoeing in turn, the veteran picked up his 
sabre and hastened over the dew-laden turf towards 
the hedge, dimly visible beyond the winding car- 
riage-road that circled the eastward gable end of the 
house. Close to the hedge he halted, peered over, 
and listened attentively. Noiselessly his little party 
followed him, Homans coming last of all, and by the 
time he reached the others the sound of a horse's 
hoofs was distinctly audible, and that horse was com- 
ing swiftly up the road that wound through the 
groves and fields rolling away northeastward under 
the shining stars. 

"Follow me," whispered the major, as he turned 
quickly towards an old gate-way that stood bowered 
in vines and shrubbery a dozen yards away. "We 
must halt that fellow as he comes through." 

The gate stood wide open. Not for months had it 
swung on its rusty hinges. Beyond it lay the wind- 
ing road, dark and sombre and overarched by luxu- 
riant foliage only just beginning to thin at the touch 
of the autumn frosts. Almost like a huge letter S 
the road twisted through the trees, sloping to the 
level of the northward valley, and when first heard 
the hoof-beats came from the outermost sweep. Now 


as tlfcv listened tlie coming steed could more plainly 
be heard, the hoofs, occasionally striking some loose 
stone, beating on the second curve of the roadway. 
One more complete turn, and, though dim and 
shadowy, the unlooked for visitor would be close at 
hand. They heard the hoof -beats quicken an instant, 
as though responsive to impatient touch of spur or 
jerk of rein. 

"He's just at the turn now," whispered Homans. 
"He'll be here in a second." But the second, ten 
seconds, twenty seconds came and no horse, no rider, 
no further sound. !N^ot fifty yards away they had 
plainly heard those hoof -beats, and now a silence un- 
broken by even rustling leaf had fallen on the night. 

"He's halted there at the other turn," whispered 
the old officer. "Is he reconnoitring, do you 
think?" Iso one could suggest an explanation. 

"Keep in the deep shadows each side of the road 
and follow me," whispered Foul weather. "Not a 
sound now," he continued, and out through the 
broad gate-way groped the little party, down the 
first stretch of the S to the northward, around the 
turn that bent the roadway again to the south. 
There it emerged from the grove and lay bordered 
by slopes only sparsely dotted by little fruit-trees, 
and not a vestige was there of horse or horseman. 
Bending low, Foulweather struck a match, and the 
feeble flame suddenly broadened and illumined the 

"See!" said he, in excitement; "see! here and 


here, — fresh hoof-tracks all going up, not a sign of 
one going down. He's left the road between this 
and the gate, bj God! Where's he gone to?" 

"To the barn, most like," said Mr. Homans, 
solemnly, "There's a path around back of the house 
and a gap through the fence. It's shorter than 
through the main gate." 

"Lead on, then, and be quick, if you know the 
way," was the old officer's order. And now, follow- 
ing the tall, lanky New-Englander, away went the 
four, silent, excited, alert, Homans, at least, with an 
uneasy feeling at heart. Ever since his coming the 
place had been free from marauders, and not until 
to-day had a mounted officer or orderly appeared. 
True, there were pickets on every road leading to the 
quiet, solemn old place, and current rumor had it 
that Madam Heatherwood, despite the espousal of 
the Southern cause by every able-bodied man of her 
name or tribe, had powerful friends at court in 
Washington, — friends whose influence with the War 
Office had placed her and her property under the 
protection of the Union arms, even to the extent of 
giving aid and comfort to her stricken son and his 
fiery cousin Tighlman, — friends who had served 
with her gallant husband in the Mexican War, and 
had vainly sought to pull her boy through the 
scrapes that wound up his career at West Point, 
where he wore the gray and bell buttons only long 
enough to get grounded in the soldier art and 
stranded in mathematics and discipline. Camp talk 


had it that "Little Mac" himself, en route to Cramp- 
ton's Gap, had ridden far from the bee-line to say a 
word of kindness to the anxious mother, and certain 
it was that Colonel Clark had received strict orders 
to protect her household against stragglers of every 
kind, even while remembering that her roof was the 
shelter of Confederate officers, wounded in battle 
against the national flag. "Yet here," said Homans 
to himself, "a horseman comes riding in from the 
north at night, and has taken what only an intimate 
could have chosen, a practically invisible by-path to 
the stables." And up to that very afternoon no 
horseman had appeared about the place since he was 
placed in command of the little guard under the 
bluff, not a week before. Then came that handsome, 
distinguished aide-de-camp of General Hooker's, a 
cavalry officer and probably a regular. Homans had 
well-nigh forgotten him in the excitement conse- 
quent upon the rattling cavalry skirmish over on the 
southern shore. And now there came another, and 
one who must have had authority to pass the pickets. 

Pondering these things in mind, the lieutenant led 
the way up the winding ascent among the trees, fol- 
lowing a narrow and almost unseen path, the cavalry 
commander, sorely tired from his long hours of scout 
and vigil, panting at his heels, the rest stringing out 
in single file behind. Through a gap in the fence 
they stumbled into the barn-yard, then paused to 

Somebody was moving about in the barn, and a 


faint light was shining through a started seam. 
Whoever it was, he had come at least five minutes 
ahead of his pursuers, enough to unsaddle and stable 
his horse, for before they had fully recovered breath 
after their climb, the light was extinguished and 
they heard the barn door close. 

"Come on," whispered Foulweather, as he plucked 
Homans by the sleeve. "I must see who this is and 
where he goes." 

Noiselessly as possible the party pushed on 
through the roomy barn-yard, Homans leading the 
way. No sentries, either by night or day, were 
posted on the height itself. Homans's little detach- 
ment down by the canal kept two posts occupied at 
all times, one of them at the southern gate-way to 
the estate, where an old, almost unused road 
branched off from the main drive and led down 
through a thickly wooded ravine to the edge of the 
canal. It was by this route, probably, that Ho- 
mans's mounted visitor. Captain Belden, had 
reached him that afternoon. But the drive itself 
circled around to the north through the grounds of 
the beautiful old estate and joined the highway in 
the valley of the Monocacy after passing through a 
gate-way at the northward limit of the Heatherwood 
possessions. Here a post was maintained by the 
pickets of the New Hampshire men, and these two 
gate-ways were the only practical approaches to the 
mansion for parties either driving or riding, for walls 
of stone or high picket-fences surrounded it on every 


side. All this Ilomans explained in whispered words 
to his crusty superior, as they cautiously approached 
the big house, Avending their way through a laby- 
rinth of wooden sheds and quarters and outbuildings 
until presently the leaders found themselves at 
another fence and a little gate-way leading to the 
garden at the west side of the mansion; and there 
they halted, for a light suddenly appeared at an 
upper window, the casement was thrown open, and 
a slender form, a graceful, willowy, womanly form, 
leaned out into the night. 

"Who is it?" they heard her whisper to some un- 
seen visitor, shrouded in the black shadows of the 

The words of the answer were indistinguishable. 
The low voice was that of a man, an American, the 
intonation that of a gentleman, and all was evidently 
satisfactory. "Open quickly," was all that the lis- 
teners below could hear, when the form disappeared 
from the upper window and the light came dancing 
down the stairway to the lower floor, gleaming from 
window to window. 

"Who was that?" whispered Foulweather. 

"One of the ladies," answered Homans, unwilling 
to mention names, even then, and struggling with a 
feeling of shame at the idea of his even accidentally 
keeping watch on a womap's movements. Before 
the cavalry ofiicer could ask another question there 
was a sound of sliding bolts; a door opened at the 
back of the house, and there, with welcome shining 


in her eyes, despite the anxiety in her face, — there, 
holding high aloft her candle, stood the fair 
daughter of the old house of Heatherwood, and there 
sprang up the steps, bearing on his arm an officer's 
saddle and housing, a tall, athletic, finely built fel- 
low in the uniform of a captain. The door closed 
behind him the instant he was admitted, and Foul- 
weather turned quickly on his guide and grasped 
him by the arm. 

"Did you recognize that man? Have you ever 
seen him before?" he asked, with almost fiery eager- 
ness. "Speak, man, quick!" 

"I do, yes," was the slow response. "I saw him 
to-day for the first time, and didn't look to see him 
here again, this night at least." 

"But his name. "Who do you say he is?" de- 
manded Foulweather, and ITomans noted with sur- 
prise that the big, gauntleted hand was trembling. 

"AVell, the name he gave me," answered the lieu- 
tenant, with the caution of the New-Englander, 
"was Grosvenor Belden, captain on General Hooker's 

"And he was here? You saw him? — talked with 
him here to-day? — you could swear to it?" persisted 
the veteran, his face working strangely, his grasp on 
the lieutenant's arm increasing in force. 

"Why, certainly, major, if need be, though I don't 
know anything out of the way about him." 

"J^Tever mind that. You saw him and talked with 
him, — can identify him as the same man we saw 


enter here to-night. That's what I want to know. 
You can do that, can vou, and some other man in 
your command? Did any one else see him, — here, 
I mean?" 

"Why, yes, sir, Reuben Pettingill, of my com- 
pany, he was the first to see him up here, talking 
with Miss Heatherwood, just before the captain rode 
away, just a while before the firing began over 
across the creek," faltered Homans, fearful now of 
some lapse of vigilance to be laid at his door, and 
wondering what might come next. 

lor a moment there was an impressive pause. 
Foulweather was breathing hard and excitedly. 
Finally he spoke. "Mr. Wilson," he said, in solemn 
tones, to the tall subaltern, "I expect you to remem- 
ber every word of this and to keep it sacred, to speak 
of it to no one until called upon officially, and then 
to bear witness that you saw an officer enter the 
Heatherwood house by the back way and through 
some understanding or arrangement with its occu- 
pants, at nearly eleven o'clock this night, and that 
Lieutenant Homans, officer of the guard, declared 
him to be the same man who was here earlier this 
afternoon when that rebel troop of cavalry came 
down right opposite here, and were beaten back by 
my command" (Hamlin's command, thought Mr. 
Wilson to himself), "and that Mr. Homans declared 
the officer to be Captain Grosvenor Belden, of Gen- 
eral Hooker's staff. Remember it, sir, and be ready 
to testify to it when you are called upon, and not 


Another October day had dawned, crisp and 
sparkling. The slanting sunshine touched the frosty 
rime that coated leaf and twig and homely fence-rail 
and distant steeple, and tiny fires blazed from every 
surface, yellow, red, and blue, like the flashes from 
pigmy brilliants. Over the emptied bed of the 
canal and the shallows in the stream where the 
waters rolled in sluggish flood the mist rose in fleecy 
clouds, while the little cook-fires in the clustering 
camps above the sharp elbow sent the smoke straight 
rising towards the sky. Down along the worn tow- 
path at the left bank of the river groups of men in 
light-blue overcoats were sipping from tins of soldier 
coffee, and nibbling at the morning hardtack, while 
the sound of jovial chat and laughter rang cheerily 
from shore to shore. Up on the height at Heather- 
wood all was silence and inaction, save where sentries 
were slowly pacing up and down in front, in rear, 
and at the flanks, wondering what on earth it meant 
that after midnight they should have been routed 
from their blankets and set to guarding premises 
where the only guards posted hitherto were there to 
warn them off, and what it meant now that they 
should refuse egress to any member of that exclusive 



Soon after sunrise old Foulweather, refreshed by 
forty winks of sleep and as many drops of rye, had 
ridden half-way up the road with Colonel Clark and 
held brief parley with an officer stationed there with 
a guard of a dozen men, and received assurance that 
not a soul had issued from the house except one old, 
yawning darky, who seemed amazed and affrighted 
at being halted by a sentry in blue and ordered to 
explain his mission. "Only going to the barn to feed 
and water ole Mistis' pet ole hoss;" and when a ser- 
geant escorted him thither and pointed out to him a 
second charger, an active little bay, eager for break- 
fast and friendly hands, the veteran servitor declared 
himself unable to account for the presence at all, 
and swore the horse, the halter, the cavalry blanket 
were utterly strange to him. Questioned as to the 
arrival of an officer during the night, the negro 
vowed that so far as he knew no one had been there 
since the officer gentleman that rode away the pre- 
vious afternoon. "Marse Belden," he heard him 
called, and this wasn't his horse at all. All this was 
duly reported to both Colonel Clark and the cavalry 
field-officer, between whom it seems there had been 
a row during the still watches of the night. 

Men of totally different mould were they. Foul- 
weather a typical specimen of the old-time Mexican 
War dragoon, or later rollicking Rifleman of the 
Santa Fe trail, steeped in traditions of the frontier, 
a fellow who had known no home but camp or 
bivouac for a dozen years, blunt, butt-headed, inde- 


pendent, hard riding, hard swearing, hard drinking, 
with stomach copper-lined apparently, through some 
occult electro process that coated the mucous mem- 
brane with the metal of the still and colored his bat- 
tered visage with the hues of Monongahela. Daring 
riding and swordsmanship when he charged the guns 
with Charley May at Resaca and later sabred a path 
through the Pedregal had won him the notice of men 
like Scott and Taylor, a commission in the new regi- 
ment of Mounted Rifles, and promotion to a cap- 
taincy before the war, a war he fondly supposed 
could be properly handled and finally won only by 
men of "the old service," irrespective of the fact 
that so many of them had taken sides with the South. 
To him there were never again to be soldiers like 
unto Scott, Worth, and Taylor, Twiggs, Sumner, 
and Harney. A general officer in his eyes was 
hedged in with divinity, until he saw the crop of re- 
cently appointed one wonderful day at Willard's in 
the summer of '61. If such specimens, men who 
never had set squadron in the field, and some of 
whom probably never would, could wear the sash 
and stars of generals, what might not such as he 
aspire to? Foul weather applied for a brigadier-gen- 
eralship of volunteers on the spot, was amazed that 
he didn't get it, was disgusted to read of dozens of 
hitherto unheard-of citizens who seemed to have 
no difficulty whatever, and was torn with jealous 
misery when the honor was conferred on fellow-cap- 
tains in the line, men whom he had known as sub- 


alterns from Palo Alto to Buena Vista, and later on 
the march of conquest to the city of Mexico, later 
still in long weary months and years of exile in 
Arizona, New Mexico, and over the Plains. He 
raved so rabidly at their preferment and his o\vn re- 
tention as an humble field-officer that, officers and 
men alike, the troopers had begun to speak of him as 
"The General." As for his real name, one might 
have served a year in the Army of the Potomac and 
never heard it, for to every man in the regular 
service he was knowna only as Foulweather, and the 
volunteers were not slow to see the point and follow 

But a stanch old fighter was Foulweather. Kone 
could deny that. It was his luck, however, to lead 
into mischief far more often than to victory. He 
was perpetually charging stone walls, strong posi- 
tions, heavier forces, and only getting out by the 
skin of his teeth. He was simply fun for Stuart's 
light-horsemen, who knew him well, and loved to 
trick him, and he would rather be riddled following 

, his own devices than ride to glory on the advice of 
another man. 

And now, failing to nab Captain Fairfax over on 

/ the Southern shore, and learning from Lieutenant 
Hamlin that there were reasons for believing that 
daring and popular Virginian had managed in some 
way and for some purposes of his own to run over 
into ^Maryland, Major Foulweather had come to im- 
part his views and suspicions to Colonel Clark; had 


received that officer's reluctant consent to make a 
personal reconnoissance of the Heatherwood place, 
and had discovered, as he believed, evidence that a 
certain prominent and distinguished young officer of 
the regular cavalry, serving temporarily on the staff 
of General Hooker, was holding secret communica- 
tion with the inmates of the old mansion, while they 
in turn were in direct and stealthy correspondence 
with the enemy. He had roused Clark at midnight 
and demanded authority to take a company of 
Clark's regiment, his own men being now away 
beyond the Kittoctons, and rouse the household, and 
had run upon a man he could neither blind nor 

A typical specimen of the volunteer officer of the 
best class was Clark, a man who fervently loved his 
country, feared God, hated slavery, and clearly saw 
that the triumph of the South meant the dissolution 
of the Union, — the ruin of the great republic. He 
was a student, a thinker, a patriot, and a worker. 
He had inherited little from his father beyond 
Yankee grit and the sword he wore in 1812. Self- 
educated, Clark had supported his mother and sis- 
ters while he studied law. His youth was one of 
stern self-abnegation, his young manhood of patient 
toil and trial. Not until he was nearly forty did 
modest competence come to bless his labors, and by 
that time, with a little home and household of his 
own, a man of mark in the beautiful New Hamp- 
shire valley where he had spent his years, he was 


serving in the Senate of his State, practising law, 
and looking after the business interests of some 
wealthy clients in the large cities who had invest- 
ments in his neighborhood, when Lincoln was 
elected and the South took fire. Clark's few speeches 
in the Senate that winter and at the town meetings 
when the news of Sumter came made him a leader. 
But Clark held that example was worth more than 
precept, and he enlisted in the first company raised 
in the shadows of Monadnock. They elected him 
captain, and he refused, saying he had no experience 
and must learn like the rest. Whereupon the com- 
mand was tendered a veteran of the Mexican War, 
who held it as far as Washington only. Brains, study, 
and common sense did more for Clark than war ex- 
periences, or a reputation for them, had done for the 
original commander. The Yankee lawyer, obser- 
vant, silent, went about from camp to camp, watch- 
ing the mannerisms and methods of the officers 
whom he heard described, in the soldier slang of the 
day, as "lightning." He looked after the diet of his 
men, the police of their camps, the care of their 
clothing, shoes, and feet. There were notable drill- 
masters and tacticians in the division to which he 
was assigned, and them he watched and followed, 
"Hardee" in hand, hours at a time, then went back 
to his tall Xew-Englanders and patiently explained 
and exhorted to them. Before ever they got to the 
peninsula Clark was acknowledged to be the brainiest 
lieutenant in the regiment. The colonel had a spat 


with his adjutant and offered the place to Clark, and 
Clark said he'd do the duty provided he could stick 
to his company too, whereby he learned the ways of 
both offices. Then the Mexican War captain fell 
before the breastworks of Willard's Bar, a vacancy 
was declared, and this time Clark did not decline the 
captaincy tendered by unanimous vote. At Savage 
Station the untried regiment staggered under a ter- 
rific fire, and lost heavily in ofiicers and men. Clark, 
shot through the sword-arm, led on with the other, 
and though seniors stood to the right and left of him 
in the battle-line, it was his voice, somehow, that 
steadied the men. It was his splendid courage and 
example that restored hope and pluck to the 
blanched and bewildered faces, that far and near 
seemed to turn towards the bearded leader of the 
Monadnocks. Kearny at Seven Pines dashed up to 
him on foaming horse, spit out "the reins in his 
teeth," and held forth "the one hand still left," 
shouting, "By God! sir, what's your name? I'm 
proud to have such a fellow in my division." And 
so when Clark went home more seriously wounded 
after Malvern, his fame had preceded him, and New 
Hampshire sent him back to the front in the fall of 
'62, a veteran tried, at the head of a new regiment 
that bade fair to do as well as did the old. Given 
native common sense, a legal education, habits of 
thought and command and one year's experience in 
the Army of the Potomac, and the possessor was 
more than a match for any case-hardened old dra- 



goon whose best days had been frittered away in a 
desolate land. Foulweather thought to carry his point 
in one impetuous dash, but was brought up standing 
in the initial charge. Then he started to storm and 
swear. Colonel Clark calmly suggested that he was 
talking to a superior officer, and would better con- 
serve his own interests by expressing his ideas in 
courteous language. Clark as calmly told the irate 
veteran that his orders were to permit no one to dis- 
turb Mrs. Heatherwood, and that, had the major 
knocked up the household at night, as it seems the 
major thought of doing, it would have been his, 
Colonel Clark's, painful duty to place the major 
under arrest. Foulweather was thunderstruck, but 
had sense to see that Clark had law and orders both 
on his side. All he could persuade the colonel to 
do was to post the guard about the house with in- 
structions to allow no one to leave or enter until ex- 
amined, and Foulweather had more than sufficient 
reason for desiring to nab Captain Belden of the 
Union cavalry in just such a predicament as this. 

Belden was a man beloved in the army. Gradu- 
ated from the Point but a few years gone by, he had 
risen rapidly to a captaincy when by dozens the 
Southern officers took their leave. It had taken 
Foulweather ten years to get his double bars, but 
he had been rushed through to the majority within 
the year of the outbreak of the war. Belden and he 
both commanded squadrons in the spring of '62, and 
Belden was as brilliant and successful, despite his 


youth, as Fonlweather was blundering. Then came 
an untoward incident just before Gaines's Mill. 
Foulweather was a hard hitter and hater; Belden a 
chivalric foe. The former believed in nothing short 
of annihilation for the enemy; the latter had many 
a friend, classmate, even relative, in the Southern 
lines, and, though loyal to the backbone, dutiful and 
devoted, he could not stomach Foulweather's descrip- 
tives when, one evening at the camp-fire, Stuart's 
cavalry were under discussion, and frankly told the 
major so. These were days when the code still held 
good in the old dragoon regiments and was well 
recognized throughout the cavalry. Foulweather 
turned on the younger officer with personal abuse, 
and got an instant and stinging retort. A veteran 
cavalry colonel promptly stopped the quarrel, but 
when Belden's challenge was borne to Foulweather 
on the following day, he refused it, to the scandal 
of his fellows. Then came the mad charge at 
Gaines's Mill, that emptied so many a saddle and 
consolidated four squadrons into three, and there 
Foulweather fought and swore too well to be kept in 
Coventry. Belden had meantime been ordered to 
staff duty, as the best means of separating them, and 
the matter might have been dropped and forgotten 
but for two things, — one was Foulweather's impla- 
cable jealousy, and the other the fact that Captain 
Belden had later been ordered to Washington to ex- 
plain to the iron War Secretary allegations affecting 
his loyalty- He stood accused of holding corre- 


spondence with certain officers of the Virginia 
cavalry, notably Captain Fairfax and Ealph Heather- 
wood. It came just in time to knock him out of the 
colonelcy of a crack cavalry regiment being raised 
in Pennsylvania, for Stanton was inexorable. In- 
deed, nothing but the vehement testimony of gen- 
erals like Hooker and Kearny saved him from con- 
sequences far more serious, for the cavalry had few 
friends so early in the war. Belden had known 
Fairfax well in the old regiment, had met him and 
Ileatherwood under flag of truce in '61, and had 
met them cordially for reasons he would stoop 
neither to extenuate nor explain, beyond the mere 
statement that under the white flag soldiers dropped 
the sword. The "Iron Secretary" bade him go back 
to duty and remember that he rode with a rope 
around his neck, and Belden, raging at heart at the 
injury done him, nevertheless had to confine his pro- 
tests to calm and respectful words. Stern discipline 
demanded of him every show of subordination to the 
inflexible chief of the War Department, who refused 
him all knowledge of his accuser, but Belden felt 
beyond all doubt that Foulweather was the man, and 
longed for opportunity to redress his wrongs. 

In no happy mood this gifted officer then had re- 
joined General Hooker in time for Antietam. "Only 
be patient and attend strictly to your duties," wrote 
a friend at court, "and even Stanton can't be proof 
against such praise as you're sure to get, but he has 
so many cases of disaffection and even disloyalty to 


deal with that if you were here you wouldn't won- 
der." Belden chafed at thought of the loss of that 
splendid regiment, but his chief consoled him with 
a promise that it could not be long before there 
would come another opportunity. "Only," said he, 
"keep away from that — possibility." And when 
Belden demanded to know what was meant by "that 
possibility," the general gave him to understand that 
it was current rumor in the cavalry that he had been 
a devotee of Miss Heatherwood while in Xew York 
the winter before the war, and, to that fighting com- 
mander's comfort and surprise. Captain Belden 
promptly answered, "General Hooker, I never met 
Miss Heatherwood in my life." 

And so it happened soon after this time that Foul- 
weather was given to understand, in response to 
urgent inquiries of his own, that his application for 
a brigade had not been favorably considered, and the 
story went the rounds in the old regiment that the 
spectacled monarch, whom few of the officers had 
ever seen, sent for Foulweather as he passed through 
Washington and gave him a terrific wigging about 
something, and there were some who guessed it was 
because of baseless reports he had made concerning 
Belden. At all events, having injured Belden in the 
first place, true to human nature, Foulweather hated 
him now, and prayed for a chance to prove his words. 
!N'o wonder then he was nearly mad with excite- 
ment over the revelations of the officer of the guard, 
— that Captain Belden was actually here, here at 


Heatherwood, and in close communion with the 
enemy after all. 

It was the possession of this piece of presumptive 
evidence that nerved him, therefore, to his final de- 
mand of the New Hampshire colonel. 

''You have treated me with small consideration in 
this matter. Colonel Clark," said he. "Your rank in 
the volunteers may outweigh my fifteen years' ex- 
perience in the regulars in your opinion, but when 
you see why I insisted on that guard you will change 
your tune." Then turning to the officer who still 
stood at the roadside, silently wondering what was 
to be the upshot of all this mysterious posting of 
sentries and questioning, Foulweather asked, in civil 
tone, that he accompany them up to the mansion, as 
he desired to see the new arrival on important busi- 
ness. The lieutenant hesitated and glanced at his 

"There will be no objection to your doing so a lit- 
tle later, major," said the commanding officer, some- 
what coldly, "but as I think I told you last night, 
Mrs. Heatherwood's household is under our protec- 
tion for the time being, and I am ordered not to 
allow her to be disturbed." 

"That means robbed or maltreated, Colonel 
Clark," out-spoke the major, angrily. "It isn't pos- 
sible that the Secretary of War can have given 
orders that a house where rebels are harbored and 
where treason is plotted day and night is never to be 
inspected, especially when at this moment I know or 


believe it to be visited by an officer of the regular 
cavalry, who has only recently been reprimanded 
by the Secretary himself for sympathizing with this 
very family and other prominent rebels. What's 
more, he has been warned officially to keep away 
from there, and he's here in direct violation of those 

But Clark was imperturbable. "I happen to 
know," said he, "that the Secretary of War considers 
Mrs. Heatherwood a woman deserving of great con- 
sideration, despite the fact of her son's being in the 
Confederate service, and as for visitors, only one 
officer has been reported by my pickets as visiting 
Heatherwood within the last twenty-four hours. He 
bore the personal order of General Hooker, whom 
he started to rejoin yesterday afternoon." 

"Yes," said Foul weather, eagerly, "and his name 
was ? 

"Belden — Captain Belden, I believe, though I 
had not the honor of meeting him. It seems he rode 
uj) to my tent just after the fight began yesterday 
afternoon, then went on up the river." 

"The very man!" exclaimed Foul weather, 
eagerly; "and, so far from returning to General 
Hooker, he is at this moment under that roof, and I 
mean to prove it. Ask your pickets at the main 
gate who it was that rode in at eleven o'clock last 
night, and " 

A sergeant who had stood silently by listening 
with keen interest to the exciting talk, stepped 
quickly forward. 


"/ was there, colonel, from ten till after midnight, 
and there wasn't a soul came in or went out either." 

"I was on the bluff yonder with Lieutenant Ho- 
mans, of your own regiment. My adjutant, Mr. Wil- 
son, was with me, and two orderlies," answered 
Foulweather, angrily. "We distinctly heard him 
coming up the road. We tracked him to the barn 
and saw him enter the house, and your own officer 
recognized and declared him to be the same Captain 
Belden that passed his post down on the other side 
of the place yesterday afternoon. If he didn't come 
through the gate it was because he dared not be seen 
by the guard, because he came by stealth, because he 
knew some gap in the fence or hedge as he did the 
secret path through the shrubbery, a short cut to the 
barn. I tell you. Colonel Clark, that officer is here, 
after having reported to your guard that he was on 
his way to Harper's Ferry. Send for Lieutenant 
Homans if you need confirmation, and I demand 
the right to call him to account." 

For a moment Clark pondered deeply. There was 
indeed something perplexing in the situation. Then 
he spoke. "I will ride around to the canal and ques- 
tion Homans," said he. "I can do that much quicker 
than have him come here. If his report tally with 
yours, there will certainly be something to investi- 
gate in Captain Belden's conduct, but not necessarily 
in Mrs. Heatherwood's. Will you ride, sir, or do you 
prefer to wait?" 

"I'll join the officer of the guard in a cup of that 


coffee," said the major, sniffing eagerly at the aroma 
that arose from a little cook-fire under the trees, and, 
dismounting, he tossed the reins to his orderly and 
straddled bulkily away over the tangled turf to join 
the squad of blue-coats, that welcomed him none too 
cordially. It was not music to their ears that an old 
regular should differ with their hero and com- 

Not five minutes after Clark had gone his way, 
and while the major was sipping at a fragrant tin of 
the comforting fluid, a corporal came running down 
the winding road. 

"Lieutenant," said he, never pausing for cere- 
mony, "there's a cavalry fellow just come out of the 
house. He's raising hell because we won't let him 
have his horse." 

"Here, orderly, quick!" called Foulweather, to 
the trooper who stood with dangling reins, as the 
horses cropped away at the grass. "Which side is 
your cavalry fellow?" he continued, as he set foot 
in stirrup and swung into saddle. 

"West side, sir, next to the barn." 

"Come on, Wilson," called Foulweather to his 
adjutant, who was chatting with the New Hamp- 
shire officer a little distance away, and on he went, 
spluttering up the pathway through the shrubbery 
he had followed afoot the night before. At the 
barn-yard he was overtaken by his staff-officer, and 
together they spurred through, twisting and turning 
among the out-buildings until suddenly they came 


to the negro quarters in rear of the house, and there, 
looking embarrassed and worried, stood a tall New 
Hampshire lad, in the dress and equipments of the 
sentinel, holding converse with a tall, trim built, 
natty looking private of cavalry, in battered forage- 
cap with upturned visor, in snug-fitting, high-col- 
lared, yellow-trimmed jacket, in light-blue breeches 
and well-made boots and gauntlets, with black belts, 
carbine, sabre, and revolver, a McClellan saddle 
and bags on his arm, and a look of disgust on his 
face, a look that suddenly gave way to one of sur- 
prise and dismay, as he caught sight of the coming 

Instantly his heels clicked together, and he stood 
at attention as the leading horseman came trotting 
up and, after one astonished glance in the trooper's 
face, exclaimed, — 

^'Bell ! Why, — what in hell are you doing here f " 

"Here by order, sir," was the blunt response. 
"Came over under instructions . from Lieutenant 
Hamlin; carried them out and got others at Fred- 
erick last night." 

"From whom? Where are they?" 

For answer the trooper calmly dropped his load, 
rummaged in the near saddle-bag a moment, and 
produced the pencilled memorandum Hamlin had 
given him at the ferry. This the major took in his 
gauntleted hand and glared at. 

"Mr. Hamlin had no right to grant this, and he 
knows it," he angrily exclaimed. "But even this 


gives you no excuse for coming here. What brings 
you here, I say, and who's here with you? Where's 
Captain Belden?" 

At mention of the name the trooper perceptibly 
winced, but answered promptly, even hurriedly. "I 
don't know, sir. I haven't seen him at all. I heard 
the captain went up towards Harper's Ferry yester- 
day afternoon, but I was up the Monocacy." Then 
the major interrupted. 

"You haven't answered the question: what brings 
you here? That's not your horse in the barn. 
Where is he?" 

"Played out, sir; and I got a farmer to swap with 
me until I could deliver my despatches." And Bell 
was again at attention and gazing steadily, sturdily 
into the major's clouded face. 

"Who gave you despatches, and to whom were 
they addressed?" 

"The surgeon in charge of the hospital at Fred- 
erick — to Mrs. Heatherwood." 

"And you've got the answer, have you?" growled 
the major, suspiciously. "Empty those saddle-bags." 

A flush spread instantly over the soldier's troubled 
face. "There is nothing in the bags that is not my 
own, sir," he protested. "There is nothing you have 
any right to touch." 

"Well, of all the infernal rot I ever heard!" 
raved Foulweather, springing from saddle. "Dis- 
mount there," he called to his orderly. "You, too, 
Mr. Wilson. Let's see what devil's work is going 

" Drop them, sir, instantly 


on here. Hand over those bags, sir," he ordered as 
Bell seized and appeared about to drag them away. 
"What! Mutiny?" he cried, for a furious light 
glared one instant in the young trooper's eyes, and 
he had clinched his ready fists as though to strike. 
"Drop them, sir, instantly!" And at the word the 
veteran ofiicer's revolver was whipped from the 
holster and pointed square in the trooper's face. 

One moment they stood there, a dramatic group. 
The tall, athletic soldier, pale as death now, w^ith 
beads of sweat starting from his forehead; the 
flushed and angered field-officer, pistol in hand; the 
sentry perturbed and uncertain what he ought to do, 
his rifle at port in his clinching hands; Wilson, the 
lanky subaltern, hastening to his senior's side, yet 
sympathizing vaguely with the soldier; the orderly, 
grasping at the horse's reins and staring over his 
shoulder at the unusual scene. 

"If that man stirs or resists, bayonet him," was 
the major's stern order to the sentry. "Wilson, 
search those bags." 

"One moment, major," and from a corner of the 
house, from the little garden at the west side, the 
words rang calm, clear, and commanding, and Colo- 
nel Clark, followed by Lieutenant Homans, came 
striding through the gate-way. "Pardon my remind- 
ing a regular that sentries take orders only from 
their own officers. You have no authority over my 
men whatever, — nor on these premises. Is that one 
of your men?" And at sound of the voice Bell had 


seemed actually to shrink within himself. Facing 
his own superior, he stood now wdth his back towards 
Colonel Clark, and his head was sinking into his 

"He is, and I arrest him as a straggler, if nothing 
worse. Your own sentry halted him here coming 
out of that house not ten minutes ago." 

At this moment the door at the rear of the house 
swung ojjen, and, as though drawn to the spot by the 
sound of angry voices, there appeared at the thresh- 
old the form of a woman with silvery hair and a 
sweet, wan, refined face, at sight of which Lieu- 
tenant Homans instantly doffed his cap, and Colonel 
Clark respectfully raised his hat. 

"I deeply regret this disturbance, Mrs. Heather- 
wood," said the latter. "This gentleman claims to 
know that Captain Belden, of our cavalry, is here 
contrary to orders, and I find from my officer of the 
guard that a gentleman giving his name as Belden 
passed his post on the canal road just before the 
skirmish across the river yesterday, and that the 
same officer, or one closely resembling him, entered 
that door at eleven o'clock last night." 

And then another face, witching, saucy, black- 
eyed, and rosy-cheeked, peered coquettishly around 
the woman's shoulder, the black eyes dancing from 
man to man until they alighted on the figure of the 
accused trooper, standing almost cowering, his back 
towards them. On him they rested in perplexity. 

"No gentleman of that name has honored us with 


a visit," was, at last, the dignified reply, jet spoken 
in gentle tone, "nor do I know any ofiicer of that 
name, — in either army." 

"Then will you explain, madam," loudly de- 
manded Foulweather, stepping quickly forward into 
the group, "what it means that one of my men, who 
ought to be with his fellows across the Potomac, is 
captured here — here where he has spent the night, 
and what business he may have bearing messages be- 
tween you and the surgeon at Frederick?" 

The instant the major strode past him. Bell sud- 
denly thrust his hand within his jacket, drew forth 
a little note, glanced quickly, but cautiously, over 
his shoulder, and saw that the eyes of all men were 
fixed now upon the stately mistress of Heatherwood. 
The next instant the note was in fragments, some 
thrust into his mouth and swallowed, some tossed 
lightly to the breeze, some ground under foot in the 
soil. Then up went the hand, and the visor of his 
cap was pulled down over the bright blue eyes, the 
neck-handkerchief was dragged up over the yellow- 
laced collar, and once more he seemed to shrink 
within himself. 

There was a long, impressive pause before the 
lady spoke. Calmly, almost haughtily, she looked 
the veteran over from head to foot. The abrupt 
tone, the suspicious manner, had angered her. When 
at last she opened her lips it was Clark, not Foul- 
weather, she addressed. 

"Any questions Colonel Clark may deem neces- 


sary I will answer at any time he desires. May I 
have a word with you now", colonel, in the parlor?" 

"At your pleasure, madam," answered Clark, bow- 
ing ceremoniously as though in rebuke to the rude- 
ness of his associate, and then, taking Homans with 
him, marched back through the garden to the front 
of the house, leaving the others to settle their own 

For a moment there was silence. Then spoke 
Foulweather, pointing to Bell, "Mr. Wilson, have 
that man taken under guard and turned over to the 
provost-marshal, at once. This thing must be inves- 


A STRANGE feature of the landscape in the Vir- 
ginias, in Maryland, and in Pennsylvania is the 
series of parallel ranges rising, as a rule, higher 
from east to west until half their number is counted, 
then similarly falling away to the west. Without 
exception the trend is from northeast to south- 
west, and though referred to comprehensively as 
the Alleghanies, each ridge or range seems to have 
a name of its own in the State which it traverses. 
It results that in Maryland and Virginia there is 
a series of parallel valleys, fertile and beautiful, 
each one drained by its own stream, each dipping 
gently towards the Potomac, wdiich, as the col- 
lector of the entire system east of the backbone 
of the mountains, bursts its way through range after 
range and finally sweeps on through the lowlands 
in majestic flood, one of the lordliest and loveliest 
of rivers. 

And strange confusion arose at times in the minds 
of soldiers, Northern and Southern, due to these 
very ranges and their varying names. Looking west- 
ward from the battle-fields around Manassas or the 
camps in front of Washington, the first range, low 
and heavily wooded, was known as the "Bull Kun 
Mountains" below Aldie and as the "Kittoctans" 



above. From the head-waters of the Rappahannock, 
back of Warrenton, to the Potomac west of the sharp 
elbow opposite the mouth of the Monocacy, this cur- 
tain was, until the last winter of the war, a perennial 
screen for cavalry. The valley between the Bull 
Run Mountains and the Blue Ridge was a raiding 
ground for bodies of horse, Union or Southern, year 
after year, and fast and furious were the cavalry 
battles fought from time to time along those pictu- 
resque slopes. Aldie, Upperville, and the numerous 
Gaps — Thoroughfare, Hopewell, and Clark's in the 
first range, Manassas, Ashby's, and Snicker's in the 
second — were perpetually being traversed by 
troopers from one army or the other. Sometimes the 
advantage of numbers lay with the jSTorth, some- 
times with the South. At all times the advantage of 
knowing every inch of the ground and being at home 
in every hanilet lay with the Virginians and their 
fellows from below. At no time could the ISTorthern 
horse rely on information given by the people, for 
even the negroes often turned out to be more de- 
voted to the interests of "Ole Marse" or "Mistis" 
than to their own. The very first essay of Northern 
arms along the Potomac at the foot of the first of 
the ranges resulted in fell disaster, despite the fact 
that the best blood and brawn of the old Bay State 
was landed there in little boat-loads and dribbled 
out to the triumphant foe in costly sacrifice. Look- 
ing southwest from the Heatherwood height, the 
majestic river rolled away between its wooded shores 


until, some seven miles distant, it began again to 
bend to the eastward at the foot of a steep bluff. 
Midway across to the Maryland shore lay Harrison's 
Island, and there on the open summit of the bluff 
chosen detachments of the finest commands ever 
even Massachusetts had sent to the front, backed by 
portions of the so-called "Tammany" and "Cali- 
fornia" regiments, were marshalled in line of battle 
to be shot down in scores by an overpowering force 
of the enemy encircling them in the surrounding 
woods, while from the Maryland shore, a mile away, 
raging comrades looked helplessly on. For weeks the 
homes of Leesburg and the farm-houses of the neigh- 
borhood were filled with wounded, and the triumph 
and rejoicing, following such unlooked for victory, 
were tempered by the sight of suffering such as the 
kindly people had never known before. And among 
those who hastened to succor the Southern boys 
stricken in the fight, but whose tender hearts 
speedily led them to give comfort to boys as gently 
reared as their own, now helpless and suffering, was 
"Madam Heather wood," who had left her winter 
home in Baltimore and taken up her abode in the old 
mansion on the Potomac. With friends and rela- 
tives in Leesburg and Aldie, as well as on the Mary- 
land side, this Christian woman had never ceased 
her labors for the wounded and the dying. And 
among the wounded, as luck would have it, was a 
Pennsylvania officer whose name carried weight in 
Washington, and the story he told when he was ex- 


changed and sent back to the capital five months 
after the catastrophe at Ball's Bluff brought tears to 
the eyes of the President himself and a letter from 
him to the mistress of Heatherwood, and orders to 
the officers commanding at the Monocacy that they 
read in some cases with perplexity but in no case 
dared to disobey. Clark, brigaded for a brief time 
with the Massachusetts regiments, heard tales of the 
lady of Heatherwood that taught him to revere her 
name before ever it fell to his lot to be sent to guard 
her doors, and Clark needed no stern order over the 
signature of the "Iron Secretary," much less an ex- 
planation for the fact that, at her own home, under 
her own roof, Mrs. Heatherwood was permitted to 
nurse and care for her own boy and a kinsman 
wounded on the slopes of South Mountain when 
McClellan's men fought their way through to the 
later grapple at Antietam. 

But these were matters that old Foulweather knew 
little of. Leaving Trooper Bell a prisoner under 
charges to be taken to Harper's Ferry or Frederick, 
as the provost-marshal at Point of Kocks might di- 
rect, he had recrossed the river immediately after 
and set out in search of his squadrons, which he 
found in bivouac over in the valley beyond Clark's 
Gap. To the west lay the lofty buttresses of the 
Loudoun Heights, which, torn in twain by the Po- 
tomac a few miles farther north, were still further 
divided on the Maryland shore by a deep rift that 
ran north and south. They called them the Mary- 


land Heights just opposite Harper's Ferrj, but these 
became the South Mountain a few miles below, and 
then, still farther east of this latter range and north 
of the Potomac, the valley was drained by a little 
stream flowing south into the great river. East of 
the range and south of the Potomac the valley was 
drained by a little stream flowing north. The one 
in Maryland they spelled Catoctin, the one in Vir- 
ginia they called, and usually spelled, Kittoctan. 
East of these streams on the Maryland side the 
heights which hemmed the valley were called Catoc- 
tin; east of the valley on the Virginia side they 
called them Catoctin too, as some did the stream on 
its west, and thereby hangs another tale. 

Foul weather had rejoined, mad as a hornet. He 
had lost Fairfax after bragging that he had him 
sure. He had lost Belden after vowing that he had 
him sure. He had lost his battle with Clark after as- 
suming to give orders to Clark's sentry, which he 
had no right whatever to do and knew he had no 
right, but presumed on his own assurance and the 
probable ignorance of raw troops; and finally, he 
had lost his temper and been caught in the act. He 
was in no mood, therefore, to dispassionately con- 
sider the situation. He found despatches calling 
for reports as to what he had done, explanations as to 
what he had not done, and reasons why he did not 
do things that seemed impossible. This did not add 
to his serenity. 

Short as he was of officers, he had two, at all 


events, whose counsel was worth taking at any time, 
and one of these was Hamlin, but at Hamlin he was 
angry; first, he told himself, because Hamlin, while 
temporarily commanding a detached squadron, had 
passed Trooper Bell beyond the Potomac, but down 
in the bottom of his heart Foulweather knew Ham- 
lin too well not to feel sure that there was some 
good reason for his action which he would promptly 
give when called upon. He knew, too, that Bell 
was a man possessed of peculiar, even somewhat 
mysterious knowledge of men and things in this 
neighborhood, which in itself would account for his 
selection by Hamlin. He knew best of all that the 
real reason why he was exasperated and angry and 
at odds with the world was that by following his own 
instead of Hamlin's counsel he had lost the chance 
of nabbing the Fairfax troop if not Fairfax himself, 
and all because he had followed around by road in- 
stead of throwing his men across their trail, and so, 
being sore on this score, he did not wish to see Ham- 
lin and have to admit it. Being sure that Hamlin 
could instantly give abundant reason for sending 
Bell, into Maryland, he did not wish to see Hamlin, 
and have at once to countermand the orders given 
in the presence of those silent, critical, "damned 
Yankee greenhorns." (Foulweather hailed from 
the Wabash flats.) And so it resulted that he did 
not send for Hamlin at all, — Hamlin who was hap- 
pily sleeping, — or for his comrade squadron com- 
mander, who was gladly doing likewise, for Foul- 


weather had come to a perplexing point in his 
despatches, and there was only one person to whom 
Foulweather would ever confess his ignorance, and 
that was himself. 

Tired with his long ride and the events of the past 
three days, yet too worried to sleep, he had his darky 
cook set to work on a substantial dinner for Wilson 
and himself, took a sizable nip from his canteen, 
threw himself on his blankets, and scowled through 
his mail a second time. Treacy, his second in com- 
mand, an ex-sergeant like himself and a good fight- 
ing soldier, had bivouacked the wearied detachment 
close to the banks of the brook and within pistol-shot 
of a farm enclosure, now as empty of its former 
occupants, pigs, cows, and chickens, as the fields 
were of fence-rails. The smoke curled lazily from 
the chimney of the farm-house itself, which lay close 
to the roadside some two hundred yards away, but 
only the upright posts, deep planted, remained to tell 
where stood the barrier between pasture and public 
thoroughfare. Close to the stream the picket ropes 
were stretched, and there the horses were tethered, 
drowsing in the noonday sun, some lazily switching 
at the late autumn flies, some sprawled luxuriously 
on the close-nibbled turf. A brace of travel-stained 
wagons, with their scarred and battered mules, had 
come up from Conrad's Ferry earlier in the day, 
bringing grain and rations, and horse and man were 
filled and happy. Tents there were none nearer than 
the wagon-train, awaiting orders east of the Gap, but 


tents the sun-tanned troopers had little use for. 
They were sprawling everywhere under the trees, or 
even on the open, with a blanket propped to ward off 
the rays of the sun, sleeping the sleep of the just and 
content. Foul weather was perhaps the only really 
unhappy man in the lot. The loss of a splendid 
opportunity was his fault alone, and men bear other 
men's sorrows much more resignedly than they do 
their o'wn. Twice the major arose from his blankets 
and scowled at the scene about him, bold, beautiful, 
and 23icturesque as it was. Twice he looked from the 
hastily written page in his hand to the rock-seamed 
scarp of the Loudoun and the blue outline of the 
South Mountain across the Potomac. Twice he 
turned and gazed along the wooded slopes running 
away to the northeast. Then back to the puzzling 
paper went his tired, deep-set eyes, and then the 
major reached for his canteen and swore and drank 
afresh. Both performances seemed to do him good, 
for he turned with renewed energy to the letter and 

Dear F., — The General gets it on excellent 
authority that Captain Fairfax is no longer any- 
where in Loudoun County, that he managed some- 
how to cross into Maryland two nights ago, and will 
doubtless try to visit the Heatherwood place despite 
Mrs. Lleatherwood's prohibition. Warning has been 
sent to Colonel Clark at the Monocacy, and he has 
been instructed to make search in the neighborhood 


of Poolesville, where Fairfax was seen and recog- 

"]*^ow we want to capture that fellow, if a possible 
thing, and not lose the credit to a lot of doughboys. 
There is a place in the Catoctin Valley not two miles 
from the river where they say Fairfax has tmce been 
in hiding. It is owned by a Mr. Hutton, who is 
away in the army, and is cared for by his sister and 
some servants. I've never seen it, but according to 
description it is an old, two-story stone house among 
a lot of rose-bushes and trees about twenty yards 
back from the road, with chimneys at each gable 
end, built out like buttresses from the wall. I be- 
lieve it would pay to keep an eye on it. Let me 
know how things are going. 

"Yours as ever, 


"A. A. G." 

This letter bore date which showed it to be forty- 
eight hours old. Fairfax, therefore, had managed 
to cross the river before his friends rode down to the 
rescue, and, failing to find him as expected at Lees- 
burg, had followed on to the very bank of the Po- 
tomac opposite Heatherwood. Why had they so 
confidently gone thither? That was far above his 
crossing place, provided he had gone to Poolesville. 
Some point between Edward's Ferry and Ball's Bluff 
would have been far more logical an objective. But 
his troop had fairly galloped, so said the darkies, 



from Leesburg, straight as the winding road could 
take tliem, along the eastward slope of the Virginia 
Catoctins, and were actually hidden in the woods 
and signalling to Ileatherwood Avhen their wary- 
flankers and pickets reported Bob Hamlin's squadron 
coming back at the trot, and they had to drop any 
other matter they had in view to receive him with 
all soldierly honors. Then where could they have 
expected to find Fairfax if not close to Heatherwood ? 
Mrs. Heatherwood's prohibition might or might not 
have had the effect of keeping the Virginian captain 
off her premises. Foulweather was a sceptic as to 
the prohibition anyway. Despite Presidential safe- 
guards and the endorsement of the War Secretary 
himself, the veteran of the frontier believed Mrs. 
Heatherwood quite capable of concealing rebel spies 
about her house, of vising Union troopers as couriers, 
of involving Union surgeons in treasonable corre- 
spondence, and of tempting Union officers from the 
paths of' honor. The more he thought, and in the 
course of his cogitation another drink became neces- 
sary, the more Foulweather became convinced that 
the much-lauded Captain Belden had more than once 
visited Heatherwood, though possibly under an as- 
sumed name. 

And now from the adjutant-general of the cavalry 
brigade he liad received a hint that warranted 
further search for the lurking Virginian, and might 
enable him to investigate Belden's movements, Clark 
or no Clark. Weary as he was, there was inspiration 


in the thought. He sprang to his feet again, and 
looked eagerly abont him. "Wilson, his callow adju- 
tant, was already drooping and dozing over a letter 
he was trying to write to his mother. The boy was 
fairly worn out. His older officers were sleeping 
soundly; so were half the men and many of the 
horses. The cavalry instinct in him told him they 
must have rest before he could again set forth, es- 
pecially as he purposed to ride, with half a troop at 
least, over into Maryland. So, reluctantly enough 
he decided that he must wait until after dusk before 
he could begin, and all the time he never dreamed 
that not a mile away vigilant eyes kept track of 
every goer or comer about his camp, and that his 
movement, the instant it was made, would be sig- 
nalled up and across the river, even to where stately 
Heatherwood gleamed white among the autumn 
foliage, and stood sentinel at the great bend. Before 
two o'clock that afternoon it was known to certain of 
the inmates at Heatherwood that Major Foul- 
weather's detachment was dozing through the after- 
noon and no move might be expected before night. 
But an hour later came a different story. 

Out in the orchard, wandering among the fast 
turning trees, the plump and rounded form and 
saucy face of Miss Laura Waddell could be seen 
when all the mansion seemed wrapped in slumber, 
so still and reposeful was the homestead, and Miss 
Waddell, for reasons best known to herself, had re- 
frained from singing. Yet she looked for some one, 


was impatient of liis delay, but dare not call liim to 
her. Every now and then she would step to a point 
at the west end of the orchard, whence, through a 
rift in the trees, she could see the A^irginia shore, the 
forest-covered heights beyond, and here and there a 
house or cottage. Westward over the Monocacy 
A^alley towards Point of Rocks all was open and 
unbroken, and the rugged scarp of the Catoctins 
frowned against the autumn skies. North of the 
grand river the girl found nothing to claim her 
attention, outside the grounds of Heatherwood. 
Once in a while, very cautiously, she Avould glance 
towards the house, and her black eyes would take 
quick, furtive peeps at the westernmost of the three 
dormer-windows that faced the south. It was open 
to the afternoon sunshine; a white curtain floated 
in the breeze, but not a soul was visible. Down on 
the old to^^q^ath the sound of drowsy voices could be 
heard from time to time, and twice a drum had clat- 
tered impatiently in the camp of Clark's men. Some 
unusual ceremony was taking place, for the girl 
could see the heavy double lines ployed in mass and 
standing near the colonel's tent. Twice the girl 
fancied she could hear the deep tones of the colonel 
himself as though addressing his men. Forbidden 
to laugh or sing or torment Pettingill, Miss Waddell 
found time hanging heavily on her hands, and in- 
terest had given way to yawning and drowsiness. "I 
don't care, I don't believe that fella's ever comin'," 
she said to herself, with that joyous disregard of 


terminal letters that was so large a characteristic of 
certain sections of the South a quarter-century ago; 
"and I don't care if he never comes," she added, 
when suddenly recalled to herself by the sound of 
her own name, clearlj' yet not too loudly called, 
floating down as it were from the house-top, and, 
turning quickly, the girl saw a hand waving at that 
open dormer-window, an eager, beautiful face peer- 
ing forth, gazing across the Potomac towards the dis- 
tant slopes of the Loudoun, then quickly down in 
search of her. There was no mistaking either face or 
hand, or the slender form now shrinking back from 
the window, — Miss Heatherwood beyond a doubt; 
and now right beside her, but keeping back from the 
open casement, sallow, pallid, bearded, was another 
face that was itself hidden the next instant behind 
a pair of field-glasses and thin white hands. Captain 
Ralph Heatherwood, C.S.A., was then sufficiently 
recovered to leave his bed and clamber to the garret. 
"Laura, quick!" was called again, in cautious tone, 
and the girl sped away like a fawn until she stood 
beneath the window. 

"What is it?" she hailed, curbing her shrill young 
voice to cautious tone. "I haven't seen a thing." 

"We have," was the answer, "and he must know — 
quick. You must get word to him that the cavalry 
has broken camp and is coming this way, — coming 

Xot fifteen minutes later, mounted on an aston- 
ished, reluctant, but docile old reminiscence of for- 


mer days of equine style and spirit, the Virginia girl, 
her black eyes sparkling, her cheeks aflame with ex- 
citement, was jogging down the winding roadway, 
urging Dobbin into semblance of a trot. Turning 
from the "S" at the second bend, she followed the 
grass-grown, leafy track that led southward towards 
the canal, and as she cast one backward glance over 
her rounded shoulder for a survey of the rolling 
fields, the wooded slopes of Sugar Loaf loomed be- 
tween her and the northern sky, — the lofty watch- 
tower of the Union array, — and on its very summit, 
almost among the clouds, a little patch of white and 
scarlet was swinging furiously, signalling to Mary- 
land Heights full thirty miles away. 


Old Foulweatlier had stretched himself out for a 
"think." Dinner had done him good and sent Wil- 
son sound asleep, but the major was uneasy in mind 
and only a light sleeper at any time. He was vexed 
at the tone of official inquiries into his failure to ac- 
complish the object of his Virginia scouting, espe- 
cially as no clearly defined object existed. In com- 
pliance with his own urgent pleading, he had been 
allowed to run up into Loudoun County for a few 
days, and, in general terms, had been told to make 
the neighborhood of Lecsburg his exploring ground, 
to "observe matters in its vicinity, to patrol the 
roads, watch the passes, break up the enemy's means 
of obtaining information, and arrest all rebel officers 
or soldiers whose whereabouts he could learn." 
This made Hamlin laugh. "There's fifty thousand 
of them right over around Winchester, if McClellan 
really wants 'em," said he. But except the ill-starred 
attempt of some of Porter's corps to snap at the heels 
of the foe as they crossed the Potomac from Antie- 
tam, the sorely depleted, but still savagely fighting, 
force of Lee had been left alone. Foulweather's in- 
structions further required him to keep vigilant eye 
on the movements of the enemy, and give prompt 

notice when he began his retreat, and this, too, made 



Hamlin laugh, and Treacy swear. "Eetreat be 
damned!" said the latter. ''He's no more idea of 
retreatin' than Little Mac has of advancin', and as to 
keepin' vigilant eye throngh them peep-holes in the 
Blue Ridge, we never put an eye to wan of em' but 
somebody blacks it. Them fellers has generals that 
knows how to use cavalry, bedad, and our generals 
that knows how — ain't permitted. That's all there 
is to it. Faix, it's wan thing to name a saddle and 
another to know how to use it." 

And the Irish ex-sergeant was not alone in his way 
of thinking. The little force of regular troopers 
had been split up into detachments, a troop here, a 
squadron there, acting as provost guards, quarter- 
master's guards, generals' escorts, doing orderly 
duty, and the like, while the new, undrilled, un- 
seasoned regiments of cavalry volunteers were bri- 
gaded under officers who, in several cases at least, 
certainly knew their trade, but were all hampered 
more or less by holding reins that kept them dry- 
rotting about the camps, where there was not room 
for even riding-lessons, when they should have been 
afield. One command of nearly six strong regiments 
was far up the Potomac near Cumberland, another 
was scattered on the Maryland shore of the river, 
watching fords and ferries above Antietam Creek. 
Some regiments with Stoneman were hovering about 
Poolesville and Darnestown, others with Stahel were 
out in front of Washington, and Foulweather had 
been temporarily attached to that command. Dick 


Rush's picturesque regiment of Pennsylvania Lan- 
cers was picketing the roads about Frederick, while 
Allen, with the First Maine, garrisoned the town. 
But most important of all, gallant John Buford, 
relieved for the time of active command, was 
chafing under the title of Chief of Cavalry at 
the head-quarters of the army, where even his 
vigorous influence seemed powerless to compel 
proper recognition of cavalry needs. The battling 
at Antietam had been terrific, but when it was 
over and Lee gathered up his hosts and slowly re- 
crossed the Potomac, he had fought so superbly that 
McClellan dared not follow. Like some sorely 
wounded but still dreaded lion, the Southern army 
limped away southward and lay down to rest and 
recuperate in the open fields between Winchester 
and Bunker Hill, while McClellan, slow, cautious, 
"feeling his way," sent his war-dogs warily creeping 
after them, and on the neighboring heights they 
crouched and watched, yet drew no nearer^ for at 
the slightest forward movement the foe uplifted a 
threatening front, and the first growl of warning 
scattered the pack. Spanning the Potomac and the 
Shenandoah with his pontoons, manning the heights 
of Bolivar, Loudoun, and Maryland with his chosen 
corps, the Union leader halted and waited and clam- 
ored for men and shoes, clothing, food, and wagons, 
and behind him a nation rose up impatient, and at 
last there came a day, after full three weeks of utter 
inaction, when something had to be done, for the 


rebel battle-flags were sweeping into Pennsylvania, 
the plumes of Stuart at tlie head of column. 

It must have been somewhere towards two o'clock 
on this October afternoon that Foulweather, 
sprawled on his blankets under a spreading tree, was 
roused from his rumination by sudden excitement 
among the men. Two veteran sergeants on duty 
with the horses were in lively discussion with a 
young non-commissioned officer who had just come 
in (from a "personally conducted" scout through 
some neighboring farm-yard) with a hat full of 
ajjples and a head full of news. 

"I tell you I seen it," he was saying, "right up 
there on the range not three miles north of us. 
There's a cabin of some kind there, and I could 
count the flashes. They're signalling to some people 
down here about the old Hutton place, where the 
smoke is rising from the chimney yonder. It's look- 
ing-glass signalling. You've seen it among the Co- 
manches, sergeant. You'd know it again. Come out 
with me and I'll prove it." 

Foulweather sat up at the instant and rubbed his 
eyes. He was drowsy, he knew he needed sleep, but 
he could lose no chance. If there was signalling 
from the heights to Confederates close at hand, it 
behooved him to look out. Snicker's Gap wasn't so 
far away to the west that Stuart's people might not 
jump through at any minute and swoop do\vn upon 
him. He had sent Sergeant Almy with a brace of 
reliable troopers full two miles out in that direction 


beyond his vedettes, and others still had gone south- 
ward, but up to this moment no word had come from 
either, yet the air seemed heavy with portent. Short 
Mountain, the easternmost of the Loudoun clump at 
the Potomac, shut off his view of Maryland Heights, 
and the Kittoctan hid from him the more distant 
peak of Sugar Loaf in Maryland. Otherwise, with his 
glasses he might have made out the signal-towers at 
these points. He was feeling a trifle sluggish and 
heavy now. Dinner, whiskey, and lack of sleep were 
all beginning to tell, but the excited talk had caused 
a stir among the men, several of whom were sitting 
up, rubbing their eyes, and beginning to take part in 
the conference, and then the major's bleary eyes 
lighted suddenly on Bob Hamlin, strolling up from 
the brook in his shirt sleeves, alert and refreshed after 
a souse in the clear, cold water, and the major hailed 
him at once. 

"Hamlin," said he, "what possessed you to let that 
fellow Bell go over into Maryland?" 

Hamlin waited until he had reached a point within 
three yards of his chief before he answered, and then 
replied, calmly and respectfully, "Because I believed 
what he told me, — that you wouldn't find Fairfax 
on this side, and might on that. H any one can find 
out his lair, I believe Bell can." 

"Well, instead of hunting for Fairfax he's been 
playing messenger for that rebel rookery at Heather- 
wood, carrying notes to and fro, and God knows what 
all. I found that he had spent the night at Heather- 


wood, — where you had no business to let him go, — 
and I have turned him over to the provost-marshal." 

Hamlin's frank face clouded. He began to speak, 
then suddenly checked himself, and Foulweather 
went on. 

"And now our men are talking about signals going 
on up the range there. I'll bet a hat they're flash- 
ing, or flagging, or waving something to those 
Heatherwood people this very minute, and that like 
as not it's about that very fellow Bell, or perhaps 
Fairfax. What do you know about Bell, anyhow? 
What makes you trust him? I'm half ready to bet 
he was doing some rebel trick with those Heather- 
wood people when I was lucky enough to nab him." 

"I'm wholly ready to take jou, major," was the 
placid reply. "And now to cut this short, I'll bet 
you that that fellow is as loyal a trooper as you'll 
find in the cavalry, and, unless he's got to drinking 
a,gain, I know of no reason why he should be ar- 
rested. He was authorized by me to go over and 
prosecute a line of search. I gave him a note to 
Colonel Allen at Frederick, to tell him what I knew 
of Fairfax, and further gave Bell authority that if 
need be he could go as far as Darnestown. It is my 
belief that he knows Fairfax by sight, though he 
will not admit it, and that he can recognize him 
through any disguise; therefore, I said go. It's my 
belief, further, that he w^ould have found something 
valuable concerning Fairfax if it hadn't been for this 
arrest. Now it's useless to hope for anything on that 


score. But I protest against the arrest while acting 
under my orders, and I urge you, major, to send im- 
mediate withdrawal of any charges against him.'* 
Hamlin was turning away, but suddenly returned 
and confronted his angry chief. "Furthermore, I 
will tell you this, sir, you'll wish you had Bell back 
again before you're twelve hours older. Look what's 
coming now." 

And as Hamlin spoke, he pointed towards the gap 
through the Kittoctan, beyond which lay Leesburg, 
Ball's Bluif, and the lower ferries. Riding post haste 
down the rocky road came a little squad of horse- 
men, a young officer in advance, two orderlies spur- 
ring at his heels. So still was the October afternoon, 
now becoming overcast, that the sound of the hoofs 
clattering on the stony way and the hoarse panting 
of the foaming steeds were already audible. There 
were rush and excitement in the very sight and sound, 
and all over the bivouac the troopers were springing 
to their feet and gazing eagerly towards the coming 
couriers. Many a time, night or day, had they been 
roused from their stolen slumbers by just such ar- 
rivals, harbingers of battle, and never yet had Foul- 
weather's little detachment, pretty much all that 
was left of the old regiment, failed to respond. It 
seemed as though the eager, onward, daring spirit 
of the rough old trooper at their head permeated 
the entire force, mounts and men, and that, night or 
day, Foulweather's fellows were ready for work. 
^'Say what you will of him," said beloved "Uncle 


John," a cavalry leader the troopers of the army 
of the Potomac loved and trusted as Tommy Atkins 
of to-day swears by the gallant soldier known to 
the army list as Lord Roberts, but to fighting men 
the world over as "Bobs," — "say what you will of 
Poulweather, he's no fairweather soldier." And 
now the major stood at gaze, his sturdy legs planted 
well apart, his fists digging into his hips, his arms 
akimbo, and his tired eyes lighting up with eager 
fire, and Bob Hamlin, vexed and more than half dis- 
posed to mutiny but a moment before^ found his 
heart warming to the commander who, right or 
wrong, neck or nothing, was ever ready for fight. 

A moment more and the officer in the lead had 
reached the bend in the road nearest the stream, and, 
leaping his reeking horse over a shallow ditch, came 
laboring across the open field. "Where's the major?" 
he shouted, waving as he did so a despatch he tore 
from the pocket of his blouse, and a dozen voices and 
hands uplifted directed him to the tree beneath 
which stood old Foul weather and his junior squad- 
ron commander. 

"What's up. Skinny?" hailed the veteran, as he 
recognized in the coming man the lightest rider in 
the old cavalry brigade. But for answer the officer 
tossed him the letter, rolled out of saddle and panted: 

"Have your men had their dinner?" 

"Lord, yes, long ago. What's the matter?" re- 
peated Foulweather, tearing away at the stout enve- 
lope, but seeking quicker tidings in the haggard 
eyes of the courier. 


"Then sound 'To Horse/ for God's sake! I've 
been hunting for jou since morning, — been 'way 
around beyond Leesburg, and nearly got nabbed."' 

By this time the major had ripped open the paper 
and was glaring at the contents. Before he had read 
three lines his eyes seemed popping from his head. 
Hamlin felt his nerves tingling, but "Skinny," leav- 
ing his exhausted horse to his own devices, reached 
for the major's ready canteen, shook it, drew the 
stopper, sniifed at the contents, then applying the 
spout to his lips, tilted his head back and shut his 
dust-rimmed eyes. Roused from his slumbers by 
the sound of subdued, but excited talk, the unusual 
stir and action, Captain Treacy came hurrying over 
to join his chief, buttoning his blue coat on the run. 
Foulweather's eyes were blazing by this time and his 
thin lips were tight compressed. Here, there, and 
everywhere among the trees little knots of troopers 
in their worn jackets or coarse gray shirts were 
gazing fixedly at the group at head-quarters. Some 
men sat silently on their blankets, but were pulling 
on their boots or buckling the shabby old brass spurs. 
Contrary to expectation, the major did not break out 
vnth. order or expletive until he had read every word 
of the missive. Then came the announcement in un- 
expected form: 

"Gentlemen, you may remember my telling Cap- 
tain Belden I considered Jeb Stuart, whom he so 
praised as a cavalry leader, as mad-brained a crank 
as ever rode a charge, and Jeb Stuart has proved my 
words this day of days." 


"What d'ye mane?" growled Treacy, impatient of 
circumlocution, "AVliat's he doin' now?" 

"Crossed the Potomac into Maryland with only 
two thousand sabres, right in the face of our whole 
force, and riding for the rear of the army. Good-by 
to you, Jeb! You laughed at my tactics three years 
ago at Riley, but we'll have the laugh on you this 
night, or there's neither brains nor bottom left in 
the old army. Oh, if we only had the regulars to- 
gether for twenty-four hours instead of split up all 
over the land. Listen to this, gentlemen: 

" Point of Rocks, Maryland, 
"October 11, 1862, 10 a.m. 

"Major F , 

"Commanding Detachment Cavalry, in the 
Field, near Leesburg: 

"Sir, — General Burnside directs me to notify you 
at once that the rebel general Stuart crossed the Po- 
tomac at McCoy's Ferry at daybreak yesterday, cov- 
ered by a heavy fog, with a force estimated by the 
signal-officers at two thousand sabres and four guns, 
and has pushed northward to Pennsylvania. It is 
probable that he is aiming again to make the circuit 
of the army and to raid the field hospitals and quar- 
termasters' depots. General Pleasonton, with all 
available cavalry, will doubtless pursue at once, and 
it will be impossible for Stuart to return the way he 

"The general hesitates to give orders to you, as 
you are not directly under his command, but, it be- 


ing impracticable to communicate with your brigade 
commander, it is suggested that jou march to the 
Monocacy by way of White's Ford in order that a 
force of cavalry may be concentrated to meet and 
overthrow Stuart should he come this way, as he 
jjrobably will. The signal-officer reports that Stuart 
is out of sight, far to the north, and that troops are 
now marching in pursuit. 

"Our cavalry at Frederick are ordered out already. 
General Stoneman has a big force around Pooles- 
ville. IVe have men enough to block every ford, 
and Stuart ought to be captured within twelve 
hours. At all events, you are warned in time, and 
must not be caught all by yourself over in Loudoun 

"Very respectfully, your obedient servant, 

"J. D. Hastings, 

"A. D. C." 

And as the major finished the paper, he turned, 
with kindling eyes, and ordered, "Sound to horse!" 

And then, indeed, was there a stirring scene along 
the banks of the little branch of the Kittoctan. Or- 
dinarily a field column strikes its tents and forms 
for the march with some ceremony and precision, 
at the bugle sound "The General." Frequently when 
cavalry are in bivouac and are to pack their traps 
and start away, and there is no especial hurry, "Boots 
and Saddles" is the signal, and the troopers take it 
leisurely. But like the "To Arms!" of the infantry, 


there is a call to action for the mounted corps that 
sends each man to his station on the jump, a call at 
sound of which the chargers stamp and snort, and 
switch about with ears erect and eyes aflash, and 
troopers spring for their saddles and arms, for not 
a moment must be lost. No time is wasted on roll- 
calls or inspection. Quick as men can jump into 
their own rigs, fold their blankets, strap saddles, and 
lead into line, the sergeants order "Mount!" and the 
squadron is ready. 

Foulweather had no tents to strike, no impedi- 
menta except the few pots, pans, and kettles to be 
dumped into the wagon and rattled after them. In 
ten minutes from the stirring peal the three compact 
little squadrons were forming line, and in less than 
fifteen were moving, first at quiet walk, filing out 
upon the valley road in silent sets of fours, diminish- 
ing front to column of twos as they struck the wind- 
ing ascent to the Pass, and then, following old Foul- 
weather and the fluttering guidon, with jingling 
spur and clanking sabre and clattering hoofs, away 
they squirmed and twisted up the westward slope, 
turned to the northward as they cleared the range, 
struck the trot as their stocky leader signalled "head 
of column to the left" when they reached the old, 
familiar, dusty highway on the eastward slopes, and, 
with every signal-tower within a radius of fifty miles 
of Harper's Ferry flagging question and answer, 
orders and news, rumors and facts from far and near, 
and regiments marching hither and yon, and bri- 


gades and battalions heading northward in search of 
the daring invader, batteries and squadrons jogging 
through the country lanes, with wary leaders far 
ahead, and the afternoon sunshine glinting on 
Heatherwood towers and glancing from Heather- 
wood's dormer-windows, and causing strange, blind- 
ing, vivid flashes to dart at intervals through a leafy 
gap towards the silent heights across the placid, 
plashing waters, on came old Foulweather, with 
Treacy and Drummond and bold Bob Hamlin, each 
at the head of his own little band, riding post haste 
to join an army in its effort to hem in and surround, 
overthrow or capture, the rash Virginians who, pin- 
ning their faith on the gold-laced gray sleeve at the 
head of their jaunty column, dared to follow him 
tlirough the lines of the enemy and run the gauntlet 
of a scattered force of forty thousand men. "Good- 
by to you and yours, Jeb Stuart!" said old Foul- 
weather, as, forgetful of fatigue or food, or even 
whiskey, he plashed through the limpid waters of the 
Potomac at the ford, squashed through the mud in 
the empty bed of the canal beyond, and was lost in 
the shades of night on the route to Frederick, ready 
to bet the last cent in his pocket, the last drop of 
blood in his veins, that he and ''the old regiment" 
would have it out with Jeb now and for all time, and 
turn the laugh on him at last. 

But as the long column swung its tail clear of the 
canal, the rearmost troopers exchanging a volley of 
chaff with the pickets along the bank, a regiment of 


infantry in bright blue uniforms, with overcoats 
rolled and bayonets unfixed, came marching by fours 
along the towpath, a stalwart, bearded soldier riding 
at their head, who turned in saddle and ordered 
"Halt!" that the troopers might pass by; then 
nodded cool recognition to the red-faced old dragoon, 
who, leading the horsemen as they issued from the 
ford, reined out to the left to meet him. 

"Which way, colonel?" asked Foul weather, per- 
sonal differences forgotten in the absorbing nature 
of the work in hand. "I thought you were on guard 
at the Monocacy aqueduct?" 

"Maine relieves us there," was the answer. "We 
are ordered to report to General Ward near Con- 

"Any news of Stuart?" 

"Signal-towers haven't seen a thing of him. They 
say there was rain in the Cumberland Valley last 
night, and the dust was laid this morning. They 
can't track him, but he's destroyed all public 
property in Chambersburg, and cut the wires, and 
the last heard of him was striking for Gettysburg. 
It's thought now he aims to get back to the east of 
us, — Edward's Ferry, perliaps." 

"By God!" cried Foulweather, with impatient 
slap of his broad palm on a burly thigh; "if I can 
find a guide that knows the roads up there to the 
northeast, he'll never get back to the river without a 
fight." And the major looked anxiously northward. 
"Keep the road to Heatherwood, Treacy," he called 


out, "till I join jou," then turned again to the 
bearded colonel. "I suppose they're filling the whole 
Monocacj against his coming that way?" he in- 

"So our despatches say. Burnside sent two bri- 
gades into the valley from beyond Point of Rocks. 
Pleasonton is ordered east through the ridge to head 
him off, and ought to be north of Frederick now. 
The Lancers and the First Maine are out already. 
Stuart will never be fool enough to try to fight his 
way through such heavy force. That's why I say 
he's likely to come down through Hyattstown, 
perhaps, — away to the east of Frederick, anyhow. 
You've had a guide that knows that country thor- 
oughly, so Homans tells me, but he's out with 
another party now." 

"I had? Who do you mean?" growled the major, 
a sudden suspicion dawning upon him, as Bob Ham- 
lin came riding up at the head of his squadron. 

"The man you ordered turned over to the guard 
at Heatherwood, — Bell, they say his name is. He's 
guiding a squadron of regulars from Point of Rocks 
that passed my pickets two hours ago. My officers 
recognized him at once." 

"D'ye hear that, Hamlin?" roared Foul weather. 
"That damned man Mcintosh is out with his squad- 
ron to clip our wings and get our glory, by God! 
and has had the infernal brass to take my own 
trooper, the man that I ordered under guard, to show 
him the way." 


"Yes," answered Bob, reflectively, as he reined 
up a moment to reply to his chief. "I think I re- 
member saying a while ago, that it wouldn't be 
twelve hours before you'd wish you had Bell back 

CHAPTER yill. 

There was, indeed, mounting in hot haste all over 
the army of the Potomac that eventful October Sat- 
urday, mad eagerness for the chase, wild rage for 
battle, and blind ignorance of the movements of the 
foe. i^ot two months before had that cavalier leader, 
Stuart, spurred completely around the halted hosts 
of General Pope, raiding his very head-quarters 
train, looting the general's personal baggage, don- 
ning, some said, the general's personal uniform, 
though ardent Southerners denied with indignation 
the story that their hero knight could ever again 
stoop to wear the Yankee blue, "but he might have 
dressed some nigguh in it." iSTot two months before, 
Stuart and his merry men had ridden laughing away 
from the smoking ruins of the Union camp. Barely 
six weeks agone they had repeated, to our even 
greater cost, the best part of the same trooper pleas- 
antry: swooped down on the trains and stores at 
Manassas Junction, filled their stomachs with all 
they could eat, clothed their wiry selves in all they 
could wear, turned over huge supplies, still unappro- 
priated, to Old Jack's "foot cavalry" when they came 
trudging after, and now, having vainly waited an 
anxious fortnight for McClellan to follow up the 

advantage gained at so much cost at Antietam, here 



he was again: "Three raids in less than three 
months!" It was enovigh to make a Union trooper 

And what a wonderful raid was this! what dar- 
ing! what consummate "cheek!" Even the bald offi- 
cial reports read like the pages of romance. looting 
McClellan's falter at the Potomac; knowing full 
well how scattered was the Union cavalry; studying 
the reports unerringly forwarded by Southern 
friends at court, and the Union commander's excuses 
for delay and pleas for supplies ; reasoning right well 
that he need dread no forward movement of his ad- 
versary, and that he might be able to fall upon and 
break up his trains and depots of supplies, the calm 
leader of the Southern lines called again on his ready 
cavalry. Xo matter how great the disappointment 
that Maryland failed to welcome him with open arms 
the month before, Lee would leave no stone un- 
turned to win the admiration of the wavering State 
and strike terror to his foes. "Xow is our time," he 
cautioned Stuart. "Ride for Pennsylvania. Harm 
no soul in Maryland. Disturb no property there. 
Wait till you get beyond the line, then hit hard. 
Blow up the bridges of the Conococheague. Strike 
Chambersburg; seize all horses and supplies you can 
use; bum everything in the way of public property 
that you cannot. Parole all soldiers you can capture, 
and bring away all civil officials you can carry, to be 
held as hostages for our own. Then hark back the 
best way you can, — either westward towards Cum- 


berland, where the foe are scattered and the country 
is rough and where Imboden will demonstrate and 
keep them busy in the mean time, or else eastward 
across the Blue Ridge, where the country lies open as 
a book but is swarming with enemies on every side. 
Take only fifteen hundred picked men and horses, 
then use your own discretion and dash." 

Oh, what a thrilling moment for a soldier! Five 
thousand horsemen has he to choose from, and he 
chooses well. Six regiments of Virginia cavalry send 
forward their choicest men and steeds. Wade 
Hampton's North and South Carolinians contribute 
their quota. Then from the artillery young Pel- 
ham, prince of gunners, picks four flawless pieces, 
overhauls every axle, pole, and spoke. The iron 
arms are freshly greased till the new wheels spin like 
glistening tops. Brand-new tugs and traces are 
tackled to the harness, collars are carefully fitted to 
the necks of draught-horses, chosen from the best 
in the brigade, and, with Wade Hampton and 
"Roony" Lee for sub-commanders, waving silent 
good-by to the envious friends in the thronging 
camps, away rides Stuart, no man in all his dare- 
devil array can prophesy whither. "Soldiers," he 
says to them in a bulletin that rings like those of 
i^apoleon, "you are about to engage in an enterprise 
which, to insure success, imperatively demands at 
your hands coolness, decision, and bravery, implicit 
obedience to orders without question or cavil, and 
the strictest order and sobriety on the march and in 


bivouac. The destination and extent of this expedi- 
tion had better be kept to myself than known to you. 
Suffice it to say that with the hearty co-operation of 
officers and men I have not a doubt of its success, — 
a success which will reflect credit in the highest de- 
gree upon your arms. The orders which are here- 
with published for your government are absolutely 
necessary, and must be rigidly enforced." 

And with these few words to his shadowy com- 
mand, read just before they approach the Potomac, 
Stuart leads his little column into the dusk on Thurs- 
day evening, the 9th of October, halts, and bivouacs 
about the village of Hedgesville for the night, with 
vedettes well out in every direction. Wade Hamp- 
ton commands the advance, and from his detach- 
ment, six hundred strong, he chooses an enthusiastic 
young officer, — Phillips, of the Tenth Virginia, — 
and with him creeps forward under the shadows of 
the night and posts him with twenty-five troopers, 
dismounted, at the river's brink. There in the dark- 
ness these devoted fellows keep watch and ward 
through the midnight hours, undisturbed by hostile 
sight or sound. The plash of the unseen waters, 
drifting by in the impenetrable gloom, lulls them to 
security and repose, but sleep, except in cat-naps, 
half a squad at a time, is not for them. One, two 
o'clock, the hours glide away. Three approaches, 
and the young lieutenant calls up his men, for a big 
squadron has almost noiselessly moved forward from 
the village and formed, one hundred and eighty 


strong, close to the river bank. It is the Second 
South Carolina, under Colonel Butler, and his orders 
are clear. Phillips, with his little partj, is to wade 
the shallow river just above McCoy's, steal noise- 
lessly out upon the northward bank, and seize and 
secure sufficient ground for their mounted comrades 
to form as they issue from the ford. If discovered 
by the Union pickets, who are sure to be watching 
the ferry landing at McCoy's, they must dash upon 
them instantly, capture them if possible, or drive 
them back. If resistance be stubborn, Butler will 
lead his horsemen into the foaming waters and fol- 
low to the rescue. So in they go, knee-deep, waist- 
deep, maybe breast-deep before they reach the other 
shore, but who cares? Phillips knows the way, and 
who would miss the chance of being foremost on this 
glorious raid! Holding high their carbines and 
cartridge-boxes, the daring Virginians plough their 
way, slowly, carefully, until at last the lieutenant 
issues dri^Dping on the farther shore, and one after 
another with him group his men. 

Meantime, in breathless silence, — eager riders, ac- 
customed steeds, — Butler's little battalion waits the 
signal. Fifteen minutes pass away, and their ven- 
turesome comrades have disappeared from view. 
The Maryland shore looms dim and shadowy 
through the mists just curling from the surface of 
the waters and partially obscuring the stars that here 
and there are peeping from the cloudy heavens. 
Stuart, too, and "Iloony" Lee have ridden down to 


the water's edge to watch the crossing, and a long 
gray column is curling snake-like from the distant 
village towards the deserted ferry. Will the signal 
never come? It lacks but a few minutes of four, and 
not a sight or sound has reached them from the 
northern bank. With Stuart rides a young Virginia 
trooper who knows every wood road over in Washing- 
ton county, who is to guide the advance on the rush 
through Maryland into Pennsylvania. And even as 
the impatient leader turns to whisper inquiry, two 
faint flashes split the mists of the morning. Two, 
three, quickly follow. Then come the muffled re- 
ports of half a dozen carbines. Then all sounds 
from the farther shore are drowned in the dash and 
scurry on the Virginia bank. Into the stream splash 
the leaders, followed by the South Carolinians in 
long column of twos, and, guiding on the occasional 
gleams of musketry, they press boldly through the 
foaming flood, and so, before the faint, gray light of 
dawn is peering over the Blue Ridge, thirty miles 
away, Stuart's advance has pounced on the aston- 
ished pickets of the Twelfth Illinois. Then as 
the dawn appears over the dim range at the east, 
the fog rolls thicker from the stream, and, gray as 
the morning mists, and well-nigh as silent, the long 
column comes dripping up the heights, forms line 
in places along the crest, then pushes sharp-eyed 
skirmishers out to the front on every lane or open 
field; and presently these exploring parties stir up 
other pickets, and more shots are exchanged, and the 


neighborhood begins to wake up with the day, and 
the rear-guard of a long column of infantry, march- 
ing westward on the old national pike a mile or so 
north of the river, halts to find out what all that pop- 
ping of pistols means down there along the misty 
banks, and presently they find out indeed, for east, 
west, and south, right, left, and front, there come 
galloping out on them exultant parties of horsemen 
in gray jackets and plumed hats and the blithest of 
spirits, — gentlemen who bid the amazed infantry, 
burdened with curiosity and baggage, to gratify all 
they wish of the one and surrender all they've got of 
the other. Then ]\Iajor Hairston, division provost- 
marshal, rides up and receives the prisoners and ar- 
ranges for their parole, — Stuart has no room for 
prisoners martial, — and it is broad daylight when 
Pelham's guns come clinking up the stony path and 
the advance has split the pickets asunder, captured 
some horses, and the guide points out the Union sig- 
nal-station on Fairview Heights, and Hampton sends 
a platoon of horse to nab the occupants, catching 
them almost unawares, for the pickets, being so busy 
looking out for themselves, have forgotten all about 
these lofty parties whose business it is to look out 
for others, and only in the nick of time and by the 
skin of their teeth do Lieutenants Roe and Rowley 
make their escape and dash madly away to Clear 
Sirring, three miles to the east, and tell their tale to 
]\Iaryland cavalrymen, who send couriers darting 
away to warn General Kenly at Williamsport. 


Meantime, the laughing rebs have made mincemeat 
of anything left at Fairview station, and the direful 
news of their coming, instead of being flagged or 
signalled to Hagerstown (where are Generals Brooks 
and Franklin of the Union armj, with a whole corps 
of Union troops within hail) has to be sent at a trot 
or gallop, and never reaches Hagerstown until noon; 
and, indeed, not until Roe and Rowley arrive there 
well-nigh exhausted^ at two o'clock, do the Union 
generals get full information that Jeb Stuart, the 
redoubtable, is up to his old tricks again and more 
than half-way up to Pennsylvania. 

Just what is being done in McClellan's army along 
the Antietam and thereabouts all this blessed Oc- 
tober Iriday, while Stuart, barely twenty miles 
away, is trotting northward to Mercersburg, no one 
seems to know. General Kenly, at Williamsport, as 
early as eight o'clock gets news of the crossing from 
his pickets, and declares he sends it at once to Brooks 
at Hagerstown, but it has to go by courier. Close 
by Sharpsburg camps Major-General Pleasonton, 
commander of the whole Union cavalry division, but 
his troops are scattered hither and yon. Close to the 
Potomac at Knoxville, midway between Point of 
Rocks and Harper's Ferry, camps Major-General 
George B. McClellan, commanding the Army of the 
Potomac, and though Kenly has the news of this im- 
portant dash through our lines at eight in the day, 
and all Hagerstown knows the truth soon after 
meridian, sundown comes without a sign from head- 


quarters of the army. Indeed, not until nine at 
night, when Stuart's gleeful men are helping them- 
selves to everything in the line of public property 
worth having in the Pennsylvania town, is an order 
of any kind issued for pursuit. Incredible as it may 
seem to-day, not until four o'clock on Saturday 
morning, twenty-four hours after Stuart strikes the 
Maryland shore, does Pleasonton get orders to start. 
Then he sends reply that he doesn't know where Mc- 
Coy's Ferry is, that his command is very small be- 
cause so many horses are unshod, but he'll do the 
best he can under the circumstances^ which sounds 
anything but inspiring, somehow. And then having 
started for Hagerstown, not very many miles away, 
it takes him all the morning to get there, for it is 
eleven o'clock when he passes through. Then, the 
enemy by that time having gone east from Cham- 
bersbnrg towards Gettysburg, the leader of the 
Union horse goes west from Hagerstown towards the 
point where Stuart crossed, and so doubles the dis- 
tance between him and the foe. 

Yes, all this while, unmolested, unpursued, Stuart 
and his merry men went raiding. At four p.m. on 
Saturday they had possessed themselves of the post- 
office and all government valuables in Mercersburg. 
Their horses were fed and watered, then on they go 
at five o'clock in a thin drizzling rain that soon soaks 
through the worn gray jackets, but never damps 
their spirits, raiding every farm and barn and stable 
on the way, leading forth every horse worth having 


as they speed along, and just before eight o'clock, 
Hampton, riding in the lead, comes in view of the 
twinkling lights of Chambersbnrg, over forty miles 
from the Potomac by the way they came, and right 
in the heart of the rich, populous Cumberland Val- 
ley; and here, in a downpour, the silent column 
rides front into line and Hart unlimbers a brace of 
guns to command the ungarrisoned town, and Lieu- 
tenant Lee, of South Carolina^ with a score of 
troopers at his back, waving on high a flag of truce, 
rides forward into the bewildered little municipality, 
only to find that every official has fled and Cham- 
bersburg is at the mercy of the South. Away goes a 
battalion up the Conococheague to burn the railway 
bridge and bar the coming of McClellan's supplies 
or Curtin's Home Guards, but that bridge is iron, 
and their efforts are vain in the limited time at their 
disposal. Hampton is appointed military governor, 
and, officers and men, the Southern troopers are bil- 
leted about the various buildings for the night, while 
vigilant pickets cover the approaches from every 
side. The barns and granaries are ransacked for food 
for the hundreds of horses they have brought along, 
—men in mid-column have been leading two and 
three apiece all the way from Mercersburg. Stores 
and groceries drive a thriving business until all the 
stock in trade is trafiicked off for jovial promises to 
pay. Every piano in the burgh is "requisitioned" 
for the time, and many a parlor visited by gentlemen 
with muddy boots and polished manners. Dames 


and damsels who liad no time to flee rejoice in secret 
over those who had to go, and lost thereby the most 
delightful evening some of them have ever known. 
Mirth, music, and soldier song reign for hours 
through the erstwhile sombre, streets of the sober 
old town, and the Union sick and wounded, nabbed 
in hospital to the number of nearly three hundred 
and paroled on the spot, sit or lie and listen to the 
fun, and wonder, as well they may, where on earth 
the Union cavalry are spending the night, and when 
in realms unmentionable they propose to come and 
settle this. 

It was early in the October evening that a little 
group of cavaliers sat drying their steaming gar- 
ments about the great wide fireplace of an old- 
fashioned Pennsylvania mansion, and sipping a most 
seductive apple toddy from the supplies produced 
from the o\vner's cellar. Virginia toasted the Caro- 
linas; Stuart's own statesmen pledged the health of 
Hampton's men, and when some one proposed a 
song, and the old hound, sprawling in the corner, 
defrauded of his bed before the blazing fire, stirred 
uneasily at the mournful strains of that sentimental 
lay, "Lorena," one young gallant threw back a curly 
head and shouted, "Oh, take a drink, Monty, and 
give us a fighting song. Floyd Fairfax is the only 
fellow we had could sing 'Lorena.' " 

Whereat the officer addressed as Monty sent his 

plumed hat spinning at the critic's head and went 

on with his ditty: 



" Since last I held that ha-and in mine." 

"Shut up, Monty. The only hand you've had 
worth holding for a year was an ace full that night at 
Manassas, and you were too full to know it when 
Fairfax raised you." 

And this time Monty stopped short, turned on 
his tormentor, and looked vexed. 

"See hyuh, gentlemen," said he, "no man knows 
better'n I do that singin' ain't my strong point, but 
just let me tell you one thing, if any of you want to 
hear Floyd Fairfax sing again, the best thing you can 
do is to fetch him back to duty with his troop. The 
general don't talk much, perhaps, but you ask Price 
or Fitzhugh what he said when he agreed to let 
that troop go off to hunt Floyd Fairfax up at Lees- 

In a moment the merriment was stilled. The chat 
and laughter came to sudden stop. It was not good 
among those that followed Stuart that imputation 
of any kind should attach to the name of officer and 
gentleman. For a moment there was a silence almost 
as of dismay, then, with a simulated yawn, out spoke 
young Garnett, him of the curling black locks. 

"Give us more 'Lorena,' Monty," said he, sweetly. 
"It's bad, but we'd rather listen to that. Floyd Fair- 
fax is — all right." 


But to see the anxious faces at that dormer-win- 
dow of the Heatherwood place the afternoon that 
followed this conversation, no one who could hear 
one word of the talk between brother and sister, or 
heard the instructions given Laura Waddell before 
she rode away, would be apt to believe that Floyd 
Fairfax was "all right." But where Lieutenant Gar- 
nett of the Virginia Horse meant by "all right" that 
the absence of Captain Fairfax from his command at 
this time was a matter thoroughly understood by 
most of his friends to reflect in no wise on his char- 
acter or reputation, "all right" with Belle Heather- 
wood and her wounded and supposed to be bedridden 
brother would have referred more particularly to his 
physical condition and surroundings. In the one 
case it was known that he had been quite seriously 
wounded and had to be left behind at Leesburg a 
month previous, and that even if he could have re- 
joined his troop by way of the gaps through the Blue 
liidge, he was not yet well enough for cavalry duty. 
What Fitzhugh and others dreaded was that the 
Yankees would raid Loudoun County again and carry 
him off, and if carrying was to be done, therefore, it 
were better done by his own people. Hence the dash 
of the Fairfax troop to Leesburg only to find their 



bird had flown, and that, so far from slipping back 
to his colors, he had limped awaj under cover of 
night to the Potomac, and, said a Leesburg cousin, 
" 'Fyou want to find Floyd you'll have to ask Belle 
Heather wood," — a bit of feminine acrimony or spite 
that was destined to harm Floyd Fairfax far more 
than the speaker imagined possible. The troop had 
taken advantage of the departure of the Union cav- 
alry to gallop to the point opposite Heatherwood 
Towers in hopes of finding their friend the captain, 
but Hamlin, after all, had proved too quick for them. 
They had ridden back discomfited and yet rather 
well pleased at their exploit, and reached the camps 
around Winchester only to learn that they had lost 
the chance of a far more exciting and important raid, 
— that Stuart was gone with two thousand picked 
men, and not a word had been heard from him since 
he disappeared in the mists of the morning at Mc- 
Coy's ford, 

"Here's a letter from Fairfax marked personal," 
said one of the staft'-officers left behind^ "brought 
in yesterday by some of our patrols who got it from 
an old nigger. It's addressed to Fitzhugh; explains 
where he is, probably, and what he's doing. We'll 
know as soon as the general gets back." 

But Captain Fairfax had taken the responsibility 
of a raid into Maryland all on his own account^ all 
in ignorance of that commanded by his daring 
leader, and though he, too, might find out a good 
deal about the position and force and possible inten- 


tions of the enemy, and had a certain military pur- 
pose in his visit, there was to him, indeed, a greater 
object, and that was to see the lady of his love, his 
distant cousin, Belle Ileatherwood, and this was a 
matter difficult of accomplishment. 

In her sterling honesty, Madam Heatherwood had 
f.2cej)ted the guard tendered for the jDreservation of 
her property and the favors extended her wounded 
son and nephew as things to be scrupulously re- 
garded and even repaid. The fact that she had long 
and tenderly and successfully nursed certain Union 
wounded after Bull Run and Ball's Bluff in no wise 
released her, she held, from the debt of gratitude she 
now owed the general government. Xot only did 
she observe strict neutrality herself, but she de- 
manded it of the inmates of her household. Her 
son being flat on his back, as she declared and be- 
lieved, no disobedience was to be apprehended from 
him. Young Tighlman, high-spirited and impatient, 
proved less tractable, but Belle, "my beauty 
daughter," as her fond father had called her in her 
girl days, and as the proud mother so often thought 
of her now, was Southern in temperament as she was 
in sympathy, and Ralph's descriptive fully covered 
the case when he referred to her as a ''red-hot rebel." 

Baltimore associations had much to do with this, 
but by no means all. Even in school-days, excepting 
one or two friends like Florence Lowndes, all her 
chums were Southern girls. Many of her vacations 
were spent visiting charming old Southern homes. 


It was not until a year or so before the outbreak of 
the war that she saw anything whatever of I^Torthern 
society, and she found it, as compared with that she 
had known so well and loved so much, somewhat 
stiff, if not indeed humdrum. She was a girl with 
innate love of truth, honor, and courage in man or 
Avoman. She had pride of birth and name and 
beauty. The men her father had best known and 
loved were of the old cavalier stock, and from her 
baby days, almost, she had most admired such as he, 
men of grave, courteous, chivalric dignity of man- 
ner. Years of her life, it seems, she had known Gen- 
eral Lee. Three years ago this very month, she re- 
membered it well, he and his young associate. Lieu- 
tenant Stuart, were entertained at Heatherwood, 
both in the uniform of the old army, for there had 
been stirring events at Harper's Ferry. A I^orthern 
fanatic, an abolitionist, backed by men misguided 
and fanatical like himself, had hidden in the fast- 
nesses of the grand range to the west, and begun a 
secret and wicked crusade that was to array the 
blacks against their masters, to promote insurrection 
and rebellion, to place in negro hands the sword and 
the torch, and bid them kill, burn, and destroy to win 
their freedom. She had never forgotten the dread 
and horror with which they heard of Ossawattomie 
Brown's mad attemjot at Harper's Ferry, followed 
by the uprising, not of the blacks, but of the whites 
against him, — the bloody fight at the old engine- 
house. United States troops against the rash invaders. 


Then came tlie capture of the wounded old man, his 
trial at Charlestown, the mustering of the Virginia 
militia, far and near, to attend his execution. 
"Bloody miscreant," she heard him called by every 
woman except her gentle mother, as the sad, dreamy, 
friendless old soul was led to the scaffold. But there 
were men even then who looked grave and thought- 
ful, who read in that first feeble kindling of the 
flame the unerring preface to the great proclama- 
tion that, springing from the blood of battling hosts 
that reddened the tide lapping the base of those very 
heights, should soon sweep the land like a tornado, 
driving slavery before it. Three years before, the 
arms of the United States were turned on him who 
drove the entering wedge of abolition through the 
mighty rocks here within sight of her ancestral 
home, and now ten thousand freemen in the Union 
blue were risen up for every soldier there employed. 
Obedient to the laws, as then interpreted, the disci- 
plined strength of that little party of regulars had 
been hurled against that improvised fort, and John 
Brown's worn old body was sent to moulder in the 
grave. Yet here, day after day, in that same uni- 
form, thousands of soldiery, lusty lunged, tramped 
by their very gates proclaiming to the world his soul 
was marching on. John Brown struck the spark 
from the rocks at Harper's Ferry, and Abraham 
Lincoln loosed a whirlwind of cleansing fires, a 
thank-offering from the bluffs of the Antietam. 
Here within hail of Heatherwood the initial shot of 


an immortal struggle echoed from shore to shore of 
an inland river. Here within hail of Heatherwood 
was fought the tremendous battle whose issue was 
the immortal proclamation now echoing from shore 
to shore of the fathomless sea. 

There were no grave, courteous, cavalier soldiers 
of Virginia now to stand in stately pose on the old 
porticoj as Lee and Stuart had stood in days gone by. 
Ralph and Cousin Tighlman looked far from stately 
when lifted out of the ambulance that September 
afternoon and borne aloft to comfortable beds. The 
Union officers who called to see her mother on busi- 
ness, or to inquire for the welfare of the household 
of a long-loved comrade. Belle rarely saw. Belle's 
heart was hot against that uniform, ever since the 
spring of '61, until circumstances occurred to render 
it bearable within the week gone by. Colonel Clark 
and Lieutenant Ilomans she had seen only when 
she chose to peer through the blinds. All her atten- 
tions and devotions had been given, since the battle 
of South Mountain, to those two wounded, but most 
importunate and dissatisfied heroes in the second 
story, both wild to get well, get exchanged, and back 
to their regiments. Both had to be entertained and, 
harder still, to be kept in subjection. Both were 
doing well, thanks to tough constitutions and unim- 
paired digestion, and both demanded items of food 
and drink either forbidden or beyond their reach. 
Mrs. Heatherwood, of course, spent much time with 
Ipoth, but she was neither strong nor well. Her 


daughter was lier mainstay about the house, backed 
bj two old family servants, and now within the 
month Laura had been added to her cares when 
Laura was quite able, so she said, to take care of her- 

That child's spirits seemed irrepressible. She had 
not been at Heatherwood a day before she renewed 
her acquaintance with every feature, taking especial 
comfort in the barn, wherein she had had so many a 
frolic as a child, and in the orchard^ which, despite 
its denuded condition as to fruity proved full of en- 
tertainment for her from the day of her arrival, 
mainly because it seemed to attract every Yankee 
straggler who could elude the vigilance of the 
guards. Just when she first met and captured Pet- 
tingill the household never knew, but he never for- 
got. He became her devotee from the start, and she 
knew it. She cajoled, tormented, snubbed, and 
wheedled him by turns, but in simple faith he never 
wavered. Him she questioned when she wanted in- 
formation, and, if he could not give it, hectored him 
until he went and found out what she demanded to 
know. Speedily discovering that Madam Heather- 
wood was averse to anything that might prejudice 
her observance of a strict neutrality, Laura carried 
all she learned to her city-bred cousin, whom she 
admired and looked up to as a woman without a peer. 
To Belle she was fidelity itself. Her will was law. 
Her wishes went unchallenged, even when it pres- 
ently developed that something was agog tq which 


Aunty Heatherwood was not a party, and the full 
nature of which Laura herself was not permitted to 

Letters came a few days after her arrival, one of 
which caused Cousin Belle an access of excitement. 
That night Laura was excluded from her cousin's 
room, and, wandering into the orchard for refuge, she 
was startled by the appearance of a light in a window 
where no light was known to be before, the west 
dormer on the south front. Who on earth would 
be in the garret now? Then the light suddenly 
went out, or disappeared, then as suddenly flamed 
again, and that was odder still. Half a dozen 
times it gleamed a moment, then disappeared, and 
Laura was keen-witted enough to know that some 
one must be signalling over to the Virginia shore. 
Later, on sunshiny afternoons, she had twice seen 
Belle there at that window, and finally had openly 
charged her cousin with carrying on c6mmunication 
with somebody. 

''[N'ot that I object," said Miss Waddell. "I just 
love it; only you needn't try to hide it from me." 

So they did not, thereafter. Belle frankly told 
her cousin, binding her to secrecy, that Captain 
Floyd Fairfax, who had been left wounded at Lees- 
burg, was now so far recovered that he had written 
by a trusty hand to say that before he rejoined his 
troop he was going to make an effort to cross, as he 
must see Ralph and Tighlman, if only for half an 
hour, and must visit some friends at Poolesville. He 


would be disguised, and the experiment was hazard- 
ous, said Belle, but Fairfax had ever been a dare- 
devil. They could not write to dissuade liim, — it 
was unsafe. Yet they had managed to send a mes- 
sage to him, verbally, but all to no purpose. He 
had devised a system of signals which he wished to 
teach them, and already was able to warn them what 
night to expect him. Just two nights before this 
stirring and eventful Saturday, now drawing to a 
close, a Maryland farmer appeared at the kitchen 
door and asked for Miss Heatherwood, and the 
moment she entered and caught sight of the shaggy- 
haired, heavy-bearded, rough-looking rustic standing- 
there so awkwardly, she asked if he had brought her 
a message or letter, then suddenly burst into hysteri- 
cal laughter that ended in a sort of cry as she sat 
down on a bench, "shaking all over," said Laura, 
when, long afterwards, she could dispassionately de- 
scribe the events of that October week at Heather- 
wood, and her version may safely be adopted now. 
"The farmer," said she, "began to chuckle_," and 
Laura was on the point of snapping at him for want 
of manners, when the whole situation dawned upon 
her. That farmer was Floyd Fairfax, and she was 
much de trop. They dared not let Madam Heather- 
wood know of his presence. She liked him well, but 
would have no unauthorized communication with the 
enemies of the United States, and not until after she 
had kissed her son and nephew good-night and re- 
tired to her own room dare they pilot the visitor up 


to Ralph's bedside, where, said Laura, "he, too, 
nearly died laughing at the queer figure Fairfax 
made." But what the captain wanted of Ralph and 
Tighlman could not amount to much, thought she, 
for he only spent twenty minutes talking to them, 
while for hours he was hanging around for a chance 
to whisper to Belle, who seemed none too eager to 
give him opportunity, for that same night there came 
to the house that Yankee soldier, covered with dust 
and dirt, "a soldier who knew the ways of the place, 
if he didn't know how to be polite to ladies," said 
Miss Waddell, airily, in referring to the matter later. 
He rode to the barn by the back way and watered 
and fed his horse and then brought his saddle and 
saddle-bags straight to the kitchen door and asked 
Aunt Chloe, who was cooking, please to take a note 
to ]\Iiss Belle, which he scribbled on a piece of paper, 
and Chloe said Miss Belle jumped up and turned 
four kinds of colors inside a minute and ran down 
the back stairs ahead of her, and Chloe could have 
sworn Belle was crying and "all trembling like" 
when she reached the kitchen. (All which was just 
what Aunt Chloe told her, rather than let Laura be- 
lieve her cousin awaiting, as she was, that Yankee's 
coming.) And then the Yankee was shown to a 
room on the first floor, a room that had been kept 
locked ever since, and there Aunty Heatherwood 
went and had a long talk with him, and there he 
stayed all that night and all the next day and night 
(so Laura believed), and had his meals taken in to him 


by Aunt Heatherwood herself, Chloe said so, because 
he was worn out and dead tired, poor soul, and in 
some trouble, too, because first thing Saturday morn- 
ing thej had sentries round the house and Yankee 
officers came there and arrested this same soldier just 
as he was sneaking awav with his saddle-bags, never 
saying good-by, and Belle wouldn't tell Laura any- 
thing about "that fella," and only blushed and 
laughed when Laura asked her who was the hand- 
some Yankee officer who called on her the previous 
afternoon, and rode away with Mr. Homans just be- 
fore the fighting began. Laura was devoured with 
curiosity about that cavalry officer, but all Belle 
would tell her was that he was an old friend who had 
rendered her mother great service in the past, and 
that she should know all about him soon, but not 
just now, not until they had got Floyd Fairfax out 
of his scrape, for scrape he was surely in. 

He had come to the house Thursday night in his 
farmer's garb, and had declared his intention of com- 
ing Friday night, too, and Belle was fearfully ner- 
vous and anxious, doubly so, because she dared not 
let her mother know of his purpose. Once before, 
when Floyd had sent word to the mistress of 
Heatherwood that he should call whenever the for- 
tunes of war brought him to Maryland, she urged 
him to refrain, and after Kalph was brought home 
wounded she sent a letter to Leesburg, warning Fair- 
fax that her doors would not be open to him. But 
Ralph refused to be guided by his mother in the mat- 


ter and secretly rebelled. He urged Floyd to come 
on that Friday night, j^romising to have certain let- 
ters ready for him then, and Floyd had eagerly 
agreed. But that afternoon, as we know, there came 
the Fairfax troop and the si^irited fight with Ham- 
lin's men, and later old Foulweather. And over 
towards Poolesville the lurking soldier got word that 
Heatherwood was surrounded by searching parties 
and suspicious officers. His presence in the neigh- 
borhood was reported, and the sooner he got back to 
Virginia the better. He planned to go this very 
Saturday night, taking Heatherwood on his way, but 
long before the October gloaming came, chill and 
cheerless, there reached him a farmer's boy, who 
whisj)ered that Laura Waddell rode out as far as the 
White's Ford road to tell him the Yankee caA^alry 
were hurrying north from Clark's Gap, hard as they 
could come, and he must "lay low," and half an hour 
later there came tidings that thrilled him to the mar- 
row with exultation^ envy, and anxiety all in one, 
tidings that Jeb Stuart had dashed through the 
Union lines away up to Pennsylvania, had "burned 
the stores in Chambersburg and Gettysburg," and 
now was coming south for all he was worth, and 
every Yankee from Washington to Cumberland was 
in saddle or under arms in hopes of catching him. 
Before the sun went down behind the Loudoun the 
roads to White's Ford and to the Monocacy were 
thronged with guns and infantry, hurrying west. 
The northward lanes were alive vnth patrols of horse, 


all hastening forth to meet and check the daring 
raider, and no sooner had night spread her wings 
over the lovely rural landscape east of the Catoctins 
than from every signal-tower along the range and 
from Sugar Loaf, far over northeast of Heatherwood, 
the flaring torches began to wave and circle through 
the darkness, and concealment in a country barn 
became torment. Win or lose, Floyd Fairfax swore 
he'd meet and join his beloved chief and comrades, 
as back they came, boring their way through the 
meshes of the Yankee net, — or would die in trying it. 


But Heatherwood was destined to know more 
than one excitement that never-to-be-forgotten Sat- 
urday, It was barely three o'clock when old Dobbin 
went straddling and stumbling down the drive, an 
eager-eyed Virginia girl urging him on, and the 
clouds that earlier had hung over the Catoctins to 
the northwest^ and had laid the dust in lower Penn- 
sylvania for the benefit of Stuart's men, now began 
to obscure the face of the declining sun and put an 
end to the occasional flashes at the dormer-window. 
As a system of signalling it was crude and uncertain 
at best, pursued by Belle Heatherwood and her con- 
valescing brother more for the sake of doing that 
which might "worry the Yankees" than to convey 
information of value to their foes. Indeed, it was 
only occasionally that the flash thrown from Belle's 
little hand-mirror went with such accuracy as to as- 
sure its being seen by the occupant of the cabin on 
the distant crest of the Virginia Kittoctans. From 
that point, however, when the sun was dropping 
to the Loudoun, flashes could be thrown into the 
westward valley with much ease, and lively spirits 
at Leesburg, where were still some ten score 
wounded, conceived the idea of opening signal com- 
munication with Heatherwoodj and it was this that 


Floyd Fairfax was striving to develop into some- 
thing of value. Thus far, however, the only infor- 
mation conveyed from Heatherwood was that some 
of its occupants were actually in that west dormer- 
window and on watch, — Belle's flashes, though bril- 
liant at times, being too erratic to be valuable. But 
Floyd had left w^ith her now an ordinary school copy- 
book filled through several pages vnih. a system by 
which they of Virginia could convey tidings to the 
Maryland shore, — principally with candles or lan- 
terns at night and the rising or falling of a white 
window-curtain by day. The night lights that Laura 
had noted were largely experimental, for not until 
Floyd's coming had they possessed anything like a 
signal-code. !N^ow Miss Heatherwood had one, and 
the question was, could Ralph, a paroled and 
wounded prisoner, be justified in using it? 

Together they had translated the meaning of the 
wavings that came to the window from the little 
cabin on the Kittoctan top earlier that afternoon, 
though repetitions were necessary, and the ultimate 
translation was much facilitated by the sudden ap- 
pearance of dust clouds issuing from Clark's Gap. 
The rain that had favored Stuart a hundred miles 
northward had not yet begun to soften the roads 
across the Potomac. 

But that they should know that the Union cavalry 
was coming, and coming fast, long before any cav- 
alry could be seen, had in itself a mysterious and 

powerful fascination for Belle. She clung there to 



the window-ledge after sending Laura on her mis- 
sion, and with eager eyes studied the distant wooded 
heights and prayed fervently for more news, good 
news. Ohj if that sudden withdrawal of the Union 
squadrons could only mean that Stuart was at their 
heels, driving them into the Potomac ! 

Wearied in his weak condition, Ralph had stolen 
back to his own room, urging Belle to report to him 
should anything further be signalled requiring his 
interpretation. It was the hour at which, ordinarily, 
Mrs. Heatherwood took her siesta, the only hour 
during the day in which he could leave his room 
without every probability of her knowing it at once. 
From morning until noon, and again from four until 
ten at night, the devoted woman was almost con- 
stantly at his side or that of Tighlman in the adjoin- 
ing and communicating room. There had been a 
time in the not very distant past when this young 
Marylander was looking with eyes of more than 
cousinly love on the beautiful face of his kinswoman, 
but tidings of Jack Lowndes's devotions, and later of 
the presence of Floyd Fairfax, had precipitated an 
avowal, and more sieges are lost in love by striking 
too quick than too slow. Belle had refused him, 
kindly and affectionately, had consoled him with the 
customary offer to be a sister to him, which he de- 
clined with thanks, being already overburdened with 
such near relatives, and had gone off to Europe in a 
Cunarder and a huff, only to be recalled by the up- 
rising of the South, whose cause he eagerly em- 


braced, was appointed an aide-de-camp on Ewell's 
staff the first winter of the war, and rode with that 
grim fighter until the Maryland campaign, when 
Ewell, minus the leg he lost tackling the Yankees 
along the Warrenton Pike the evening of the 28th 
of August, was left behind to repair damages. Tighl- 
man came on with the division, was assigned to other 
staff duty, and as luck would have it met his cousin 
Heatherwood and a hostile bullet almost at the same 
moment in the defense of the Gaps before Antietam. 
Xow he was once more under Heatherwood's roof, 
his nearest kin having all gone South, and was feel- 
ing very sore in spirit, very much aggrieved indeed, 
all because Belle had told him the year before that 
he would soon get over his fancy and would fall in 
love with a girl who could thoroughly appreciate all 
his good qualities. Tighlman had sworn in Decem- 
ber he could never do either, and by April had done 
both. So there he was at Heatherwood, wounded 
in body and in spirit. At no time does a man feel 
much more like an ass than when he has to spend 
hour after hour in the presence of the woman who, 
with perfect good humor, has prophesied that he 
would speedily forget his infatuation for her, and 
whom he finds to have prophesied exactly right. 
There lay Captain Tighlman, forced to look lugu- 
brious and sigh whenever Belle came fluttering into 
the room in order to convince her she had done him 
injustice in declaring him so light-minded, when all 
the time he knew his heart was irrevocably bound 


up in a dear little Georgia girl near whom he had 
spent long weeks abroad. What would Captain 
Tighlman say had he seen Belle Heatherwood kiss- 
ing a Yankee officer? Miss Waddell had indignantly 
asked; and while Miss Heatherwood had done noth- 
ing of the kind, but had only tremblingly inclined 
her forehead towards the pleading lips of that hand- 
some unknown, it may be safely said that Captain 
Tighlman would have felt no jealousy other than 
that aroused by the question of uniform. 

He was in a peevish and fretful mood, however, 
and disposed to sympathize with his comrade's eager- 
ness to be up and away, even on this gloomy Octo- 
ber afternoon, when the rain began to patter about 
the old house and strike the frost-bitten leaves from 
their feeble hold on the stiffening branches. But he 
started up in bed, leaned on his elbow, and gazed 
eagerly as Heatherwood came limping in, whisper- 

"There's fun ahead. Brad. Something's up ! I'm 
blessed if I can tell what, but they're waving like 
mad up on Sugar Loaf. The troops down by the 
aqueduct are all under arms. The Yanks are mus- 
tering on every road, — guns, cavalry, and infantry. 
They're all coming this way." 

"My God! Can they have found out about Fair- 
fax?" asked Tighlman. 

"That wouldn't stir up all the troops in Mary- 
land," was the answer. "With my glasses you can 
see away over towards Poolesville. There are three 


or four regiments moving ont on the road, and a 
dozen squadrons. Others are coming now from Point 
of Rocks, and the old regiment, by gad, is coming 
up the Kittoctan at a trot, heading for White's Ford. 
What can have happened, do you think? Can it be 
Stuart again?" 

And just as he spoke, clear and shrill the voice of 
Laura Waddell was heard from underneath the win- 

"Cousin Ralph! Cousin Ralph! Can you hear 
me? Such wonderful news! I heard all the Yanks 
talking about it. Stuart's rode all around them 
again and is up in Pennsylvania now, and he's going 
to burn Baltimore and Washington, and they're all 
out there to catch him, — the whole pack. Ain't it 

"Sh-sh, Laura. Be quiet, child. You'll wake 
mother," was the loud stage whisper with which 
Captain Heatherwood greeted this thrilling an- 
nouncement, as his haggard face, quivering with ex- 
citement, appeared at the window. "Come up here, 
quick, and tell us all about it. — My God, Brad! 
Think of it. Stuart raiding through Pennsylvania 
and we here crippled and paroled!" 

"Parole be damned!" was the mad reply, as Tighl- 
man straightened up in bed. "They'll come back 
this way, like as not, and no parole counts in case of 
recapture. All we've got to do is to be up and ready 
to ride. Shut that door!" he cried, as the sound of 
quick, light footsteps was heard in the hall without, 


and Heatherwood hobbled to the threshold all too 
late. There, her face aflame with excitement, stood 
Belle, and it was plain to see that she had heard her 
cousin's words. 

"Ralph," she pleaded, laying her hands on her 
brother's arm, and speaking low, hurriedly, "you 
surely cannot think of such a thing as attempting to 
leave this house until you are thoroughly well. 
You're weak as a child yet, — both of you. You're 
not fit to stir. It would bring on fever again, or re- 
open your wound." 

He placed his hand upon her lips and strove to 
check her, "Hush! Mother must not hear. She 
must not be wakened," he whispered, but already 
Laura was pattering up the stairs, dancing mth joy 
and excitement. She rushed upon them, clapping 
her hands. 

"It's true! it's true!" she cried, hugging Belle in 
her delight. "Pettingill's out there in the orchard 
now; says he had to come up and see me — just 
think of it — before he marched to battle. Just as if 
I cared. He's got on all his fixings, knapsack and 
things, and looks like he wanted to cry; says they're 
ordered to be ready to march just as soon as the re- 
lief guard comes, and they are coming over the 
Monocacy now. He says they're going to cover the 
whole country with Yankees, and I told him he 
needn't trouble himself, Jeb Stuart 'd cover the 
ground with 'em three deep wherever he goes." It 
was impossible to check the wild exuberance of the 


girl's outbreak. She danced about the hall, a buxom 
imp, until Heatherwood seized her and clapped his 
thin hand over the rosy mouth. 

"Quiet, child! Mother must not hear this yet," 
he ordered. But she shook herself free in an instant, 
her rustic health and strength far outmatching his 
enfeebled muscles. 

"Aunty ? Why, she's heard it ! She's out there on 
the gallery now, talking with Colonel Clark. He's 
just ridden up with that stiffy Homans, comin' to tell 
her there's to be another guard. Guess we can take 
care of ourselves now, and I just wanted a chance to 
tell him he'd better look out for his own crowd." 
And shaking the rain out of her shining hair, the 
girl went dancing and springing and gamboling up 
and down the wide hall in wild exultation and de- 
light, just as there appeared, coming slowly up the 
stairs, her sad, placid, beautiful face clouded with 
new care and trouble, the beloved mistress of 
Heatherwood. At sight of her and the gentle re- 
buke in her eyes, the girl almost instantly checked 
her mad whirling and ran to aid her. Heatherwood, 
hearing Tighlman's voice, had for the moment 
turned to look within the room, and did not see her. 
When he reappeared it was to be confronted by his 
mother, amaze, distress, and deep anxiety in her 
gaze, all giving way to utter dismay as the door 
swung open and there, leaning feebly against the 
casement for support, pale with exhaustion, yet with 
excitement and resolution firing his eyes, there in 
his Confederate uniform, stood Bradley Tighlman. 


Mrs. Heatherwood was first to speak, 
'"In God's name, my boy, what does this mean?" 
"It means that Stuart is coming, aunty," faltered 
Tighlman, almost gasping for breath. "It means 
that he is sure to come this way, that we can be re- 
captured, and, well or wounded, every soldier of the 
South must be ready to follow." 

"JSTot from this roof," she answered, solemnly. 
"Not so long as that parole lasts. You pledged your 
soldier honor never to take up arms or render any 
service against the United States until properly ex- 
changed, and every soldier, ISTorth or South, must 
stand by his soldier word. — Help him off with that 
uniform, Ealph. Then back to your beds, both of 
you," she ordered, almost as though it were ten 
years gone by and in their boyish days again, "and 
stay there until you're dragged out by Stuart's men, 
for if by word, sign, or deed you attempt to com- 
municate with Stuart's command, as God is my 
judge, I'll surrender you both to the Federal 


The sun was still an hour high, invisible through 
the rain-clouds that hung dripping along the crest of 
the Catoctins and the opposite heights of Loudoun, 
when the New Hampshire men were relieved of the 
care of the aqueduct and the empty ditch of the 
canal by the arrival of a brace of battalions from the 
Pine-Tree State, and Clark, pursuant to his orders, 
left his tents standing in the grove and marched 
away with his long blue column, gathering up the 
guard under Heatherwood Towers, the solemn-faced 
Ilomans and the reluctant Pettingill with the rest. 

"Remember," said he, to the commander of the 
Maine contingent, "we leave our heavy baggage with 
our tents under your charge. This thing will be 
settled, probably, within twelve hours. If Stuart 
comes this way we may reasonably expect to beat 
him back until the cavalry surround him. If he 
goes far to the east or turns to the west, we won't be 
needed and vnll be back again to-morrow. Here are 
the written orders about protecting Heatherwood, on 
the height yonder." And the precious paper was 
handed over. 

"I don't know about that place," was the doubtful 

answer, "There was a soldier arrested there and sent 

up to the provost-marshal at Point of Rocks this 

morning. What had he been doing?" 



"Arrested by a cavalry major of regulars who said 
he was a straggler from his command. I could not 
interfere, though I believe him to be the same man 
that galloped away from my camp a night or two 
ago, refusing to have his pass examined. There's 
something about him that's wrong. I don't know 

"Well, they didn't keep him in limbo ten min- 
utes," said the Maine officer. "He asked to see Cap- 
tain Mcintosh, and when Mac was sent out to scout 
towards Sugar Loaf this morning, he had that fellow 
riding with him. They say he knows the countr}^ 
like a book." 

"Yery likely," said Clark. "One thing you can 
be sure of, and that is this, Mrs. Heatherwood will 
knowingly allow no man to enter her doors who is 
not there by authority of the War Department. She 
is nursing her son and nephew, both of whom are 
still in bed, and they are the only men about the 
place, unless you count the old darky." 

"And you've had no reason to suspect anything 
wrong? N^o attempt to communicate with rebels at 
Leesburg or elsewhere?" 

"Certainly not," was the prompt reply. "Why 
do you ask?" 

"Because the provost-marshal at Point of Rocks 
tells me the signal-officers on Sugar Loaf say there 
is signalling going on over there in Loudoun County 
to some point here. Now, what could it be but 
Heatherwood? He has word that that Virginian 


captain, Fairfax, was over here somewhere, and that 
your people yesterday were imposed upon by a 
stranger claiming to be Captain Belden, of Hooker's 
staff. Why, you ought to know, or they ought to 
know, that General Hooker was wounded at Antie- 
tam and went into Washington, and Belden with 
him. Belden hasn't come back yet." 

"I've heard that story. Old Foulweather, of the 
cavalry, asked Madam Heatherwood in my presence, 
and she declared that she never knew- such an officer 
as Captain Belden. There has been some masquer- 
ading going on, perhaps, but she knows nothing of 
it. You'll find no people there she cannot account 

And so saying, Clark, the bearded, who believed 
solemnly in women, rode rapidly away, and placed 
himself at the head of his column as they struck the 
road to Conrad's Ferry, meeting, oddly enough, the 
column of regulars just as they came dripping up 
from the ford. The ^e\y Hampshire men retook 
their silent tramp down the towpath, as the muddy 
tail of the cavalry column swung out over the steep 
ascent. The infantry were marching away from the 
expected foe in order to occupy the heights overlook- 
ing the lower ferry. Foulweather, however, profit- 
ing by the field orders which turned him loose in 
Loudoun County for a week's scout, was now push- 
ing northward into Maryland, a free lance, practi- 
cally, with glorious possibilities ahead, Burnside, of 
course, having to accept the resi^onsibility for his 
change of base. 


And Foiilweather had reason to be hopeful and 
elate. Both in Stuart's cavalry, south of the Potomac, 
and among the widely dispersed camps of the Union 
horse, from Cumberland to Washington on the north 
of the river, their mounts were suffering with equine 
maladies known as "greasy heel" and sore tongue. 
In addition there were hundreds of horses in Pleas- 
onton's camp in need of shoes. Just why this should 
have been the quartermaster could not say. But 
most of the Union commanders reported their horses 
in poor condition. Foulweather, however, serving 
east of the mountains and nearer Washington, had 
been able to supply himself as to forage and shoes, 
while the epidemics that so affected the chargers in 
the Shenandoah and upper Potomac valleys had 
made no inroads on his stock. He w^as, except for 
fatigue, in tip-top condition for sharp cavalry service. 
He reasoned that Stuart's column^ both men and 
horses, would be worn out by the time they met, and, 
though he had barely two hundred and fifty sabres 
at his back, the stout old plainsman meant that they 
should make their mark on the gray squadrons if he 
could possibly reach them. 

And why should he not reach them? Here he 
was, far from the grasp of any brigade commander, 
his own master for the time being. Now was the 
chance for independent action, now the golden op- 
portunity to win those long coveted silver stars, now 
the time to distance all competitors in the race for 
recommendation for the brigadier-generalship to 


come from the cavalry. So far as he could hear, 
there was only one rival in the field, — Mcintosh, he 
of the provost-guard at Point of Rocks, already out 
there somewhere to the north of him, and scouting 
the roads down which Stuart might come. True, 
Stoneman was throwing forward cavalry from Pooles- 
ville, but who were they? said Foul weather, disdain- 
fully. Stoneman had no regulars to speak of, and 
even Rush's Lancers up at Frederick had not served 
to modify the old major's disdain or to change his 
dictum that "a volunteer trooper was only a dummy 
on a cart-horse." Mcintosh, however, was a man to 
dread, guided as he was by a trooper who knew every 
bridle-path in that part of Maryland. How dare he 
release Bell from durance vile ? How dare he utilize 
him instead of sending him back to Foulweather, — 
now that his services were so sorely needed? The 
major was hot with jealous wrath as the darkness 
slowly settled down, and riding straight for Sugar 
Loaf, he saw the red torch waving at its lofty 

And now the men had slept through hours of the 
earlier day, had feasted on soldier fare at noon, and 
could be counted on for all-night work if need be, 
even though the sun had given place to shower and 
the night wore on chill and wet. At seven o'clock 
he was pushing northward, following some old 
country road that meandered among the groves and 
fields. He relied on reaching the broad pike before 
eight, the main road that led from Frederick through 


Hjattstown and Rockville to Washington, and there 
surely he would intercept couriers with tidings of the 
foe; surely by that time it would be known which 
way the fox had turned. Off to the eastward faint 
lights were gleaming here and there in little villages 
or farm-houses. Foulweather left Barnesville well 
to his right, for there, though news might have been 
had, he feared that at this moment he might nnd 
some officer superior in rank who would take it upon 
himself to order him to join some detachment of 
volunteer horse and act in concert ^vith amateurs, 
and so spoil all the old major's plans of action. Foul- 
weather would take no chance of losing his autonomy, 
and, like many another cavalryman, good or bad, he 
would rather be his own commander in a wilderness 
than ride as second or subordinate in Elysium. 

And the farther north they pushed through the 
shadowy lane, moving slowly and cautiously for fear 
of running into unseen ditch or obstruction, the more 
to their left had loomed the rugged height of Sugar 
Loaf, where, slowly waving, the torches could still 
be seen at intervals, and the major would have given 
six months' pay to know what tidings were passing 
to and fro. Where was Stuart? Oh, where was 

By this time, too, so much rain had fallen that the 
road was squashy under hoof. The lane was so nar- 
row that they had been compelled to reduce front, 
and were riding by twos instead of fours, his long 
column thereby stringing out to more than twice its 


normal length. Halting at dusk to shift saddles and 
tighten girths, he had ordered forward a little ad- 
vance guard consisting of a veteran sergeant and 
some twenty troopers, — he had no officers to spare, — 
and now felt confident that no sudden dash could 
double him up; and just about half -past seven, as 
he was jogging along at brisk walk, Wilson on his 
left and the orderlies and trumpeter following at his 
heels, a dark form appeared just in front and a voice 
was heard: 

"Sergeant Walsh sends me back to tell the major 
the road forks about a hundred yards ahead, sir. 
Which shall we take?" 

"Has he sent men out on both?" 

"Yes, sir; a quarter of a mile or so. There are 
farm lights on the right, and it's all dark on the 

Old Treacy had sputtered alongside from the head 
of his squadron to listen to the reports. There was 
not an instant's halt. The column moved steadily 
on and the messenger had reined about and was 
riding by the major's side. 

Foulweather hesitated a minute. The lights were 
too near for Hyattsto\vn. He might find informa- 
tion there, and he might just as likely run across the 
head-quarters of some of Stoneman's cavalry com- 
mands, thro^vQ, fan-like, forward from Poolesville. 

Treacy impulsively put in his oar and decided 
matters. "Tell him to go to the right, major." 

"Tell him to go to the left," was Foulweather's 


characteristic reply, and, swearing through his grind- 
ing teeth, Treacy fell back to his place. 

And so it happened that when, a little after eight, 
a trooper came trotting back to say the advance had 
reached the pike in the broad valley to the front, and 
that torches were still waving at Sugar Loaf to their 
left rear, and far away to the northwest other signal- 
lights, faint and dim, could be made out by sharp- 
sighted men in the lead, the whole column had 
passed within a dozen rods of one who wore their 
own uniform, and who, dismounted and firmly grip- 
ping the nostrils of his wearied horse to prevent his 
neighing, was crouching beside a hedge on the other 
fork of the road, shrinking from possibility of dis- 
covery. K^ot until the rearmost trooper had gone 
jogging by the fork, not, indeed, until five minutes 
more had passed without the sound of other horse- 
men coming from the south, did the solitary shadow 
lead forth to the narrow roadway, mount, and ride on 
and on with the unerring confidence of one to whom 
every bend of the bridle-path was familiar, on until 
Sugar Loaf bore straight to his right, the west, on to 
a point where faint lights could be seen gleaming 
away over to the southwest, down by the shores of 
the Potomac, and here, at the foot of a steep slope, a 
lane still narrower led away southwest, through open 
fields, and this he took unhesitatingly, and, pressing 
on at rapid trot, ever bending forward and with 
ears attent, ever encouraging and urging his tired 
horse, rarely spurring now, for the gallant fellow was 


doing his best, and no true horseman spurs a willing 
beast, mile after mile he rode until half a dozen were 
left between him and the point where Foulweather's 
ghostly train had jjassed him by, and then there rose 
before him, dim and vague, a lone height, forest- 
covered, with every line of which he was familiar, 
though hardly a trace of it could be seen. Overhead 
the heavens were shrouded in their veil of cloud. 
Under foot the earth lay dripping. To right and left 
the autumn leaves came fluttering down, pelted 
mercilessly by the unseen rain, and the patter of the 
myriad globules fell on the ear like soothing, 
drowsing melody. And all this distance had the 
rider traversed without sign of friend or foe, yet 
now, at a sharp turn in the narrow lane, he reined in 
his horse and listened. iSTot a sound beyond the 
ceaseless plash. Slowly he moved forward again 
until he could feel, rather than see, that the road had 
opened out, and that it had joined a broader, better- 
travelled thoroughfare. Another gentle bend, and 
then, not two hundred yards away, underneath a 
clump of trees, some camp-fires smouldered and the 
shadowy forms of men and horses, half a dozen, 
could be dimly seen. And presently he came to 
where a big stone, once whitewashed or painted, so 
that now it could be faintly discerned, stood at the 
roadside, and here he flung himself from his horse, 
led confidently through a shallow, muddy trench, his 
horse as confidently following, then forced his way 
through a gap in the dripping hedge, and the next 



minute he had remounted and was moving slowly 
and cautiously up a winding path among the fruit- 
trees, steering for another gap in the foliage near the 
crest, through which a dim light was throwing feeble 
yet sufficient beam, a light that was to guide him 
back unchallenged, though unbidden, once more to 
stable his tired horse in the comfortable old barn, 
and then, cautious, noiseless, dripping wet, but bear- 
ing with him his arms and saddle-bags, the same 
trooper that issued from that door at dawn, came to 
claim once more the hospitality of Heatherwood. 

A light was burning dimly in the room. He 
could see it gleam through a crevice. Cautiously he 
tapped, quick and low, then listened for coming foot- 

Utter silence and no other response. Yet he could 
have sworn some one was moving about within the 
old wing as he approached. Again he tapped, quick 
and low, three rapid knocks, a pause, then one, as 
though he would have signalled thirty-one, and this 
time there was instant result. There were hurried 
whisperings, a scurry of footfalls. A bench was 
overturned and something tin came clattering to the 
floor. Then at last the swish of skirts, a cautious ap- 
proach to the door. The latch clattered hesitatingly, 
a voice, tremulous, whispered, "^yllo is it?" 

"It is I. Don't you recognize the number? Open, 

But only slowly would that door open, and at last 
the face of Belle Heatherwood appeared, white as 


that of the dead, as she stood there looking first one 
instant over her shoulder, the next glancing in sur- 
prise, pity, and compassion, all in one, at the im- 
patient soldier. He saw the consternation in her 

"Some one has frightened you," he exclaimed, as 
now he strode within the door and dropped his saddle 
to the floor, while his right hand threw back the flap 
of the holster at his waist-belt and grasped the butt 
of the ready Colt. "]^o one of our men dare molest 
you here. Who was it? Where is he?" 

The color flew back to her cheek at the abrupt 
demand, and fire to her eyes. She would have spoken 
impetuously, but something in his worn face de- 
terred her. She read there suffering, anxiety, dis- 
tress, far more than command. Whatever his present 
mood, he had come a suppliant. Quick-witted, the 
girl saw her advantage and seized it. 

"After the scene this morning you need not won- 
der that we take alarm," she answered, bravely, 
though her breath came quick, her bosom rose and 
fell like troubled sea. She pressed her hand to her 
heart, too, as she spoke. "We were in misery over 
your arrest. What does it mean? You've escaped, 
or what?" 

"Xever mind that ?iow," he answered, shortly, 
as his eyes flitted suspiciously about the kitchen, 
glancing warily at the door-way leading into the 
house itself, and the flight of stairs down to the cel- 
lar. On a table was a basket containing eggs and 


vegetables, and on that she had rested a trembling 

"Why, I never saw you show such fear before! 
Some one was here with you. Was it " 

"Hush," she whispered. "Some one is here — 
without. It's a jjatrol," she continued, her cheek 
blanching again, for the sound of hoofs and clanking 
steel could be distinctly heard. "Is it you they seek 

For answer the soldier sprang to his saddle, knelt, 
tore open the nearest bag, and with eager hands drew 
forth a flat tin case, firmly strapped. 

"It may be," he murmured, desperately. "And 
now, whatever happens, they must not get this. Hide 
it, quick. I'll answer them. Only guard this for me, 
and I'm in no danger." 

Then, as, seizing the packet, the girl sped swiftly 
away, the trooper turned and blew out the candle. 
Low voices were heard without. Spurred boots and 
clanking sabres were already at the door. Then 
came an imperative knock. Bell drew himself to 
his full height and, deliberately closing the holster 
and adjusting his belt, was about to step forward, 
when a hand was laid on his arm. 

"To your room, quick, for mother's sake. She was 
kneeling, praying for you when I left her," whis- 
pered an eager voice. He thrilled as the warm lips 
almost touched his ear. "Oh, for God's sake," she 
added, as he hesitated, "for — my sake, quick!" 

And on tiptoe he hurried into the dark hall be- 



yond jnst as Chloe, lamp in hand, came shuffling into 
the old wing, and the clamor at the door redoubled. 
At a sign from her young mistress, who stood leaning 
against the table, her hand on her fluttering heart, 
Chloe, setting her lamp do\^Ta, stepped to the door 
and threw it open. There stood two soldiers of the 
Union cavalry, — an officer, backed by a sergeant. 
Dimly seen beyond them, still in saddle, huddled 
possibly half a dozen escorting troopers, 

"Can I see Mrs. Heather wood?" demanded the 
foremost; then, gazing beyond the negro face, he 
caught sight of the young lady's and the basket. At 
sight of the first he had whipped off his wet forage- 
cap, at sight of the second he cla^Dped it on again, and 
with kindling eyes strode straight into the room. 

"By heaven, he's here! At least," — and here he 
turned quickly to the lady and lifted his cap once 
more, — "at least, that is the basket of the man we're 
looking for. Pardon me, — Miss Heatherwood, I pre- 
sume, — but my men must enter at once and search." 

"They shall not!" she cried. "We have orders 
from the President himself, protecting us from such 
outrage. I deny your right — I forbid. I " 

But in spite of her indignant protestation, three or 
four troopers had sprung from saddle and, carbines 
in hand, came surging into the old kitchen. "Search, 
— search everywhere," were the brief orders of the 
young officer. "Look for the dress of an old farmer, 
with beard and wig." And despite Miss Heather- 
wood's impulsive move to check them, a corporal 


and trooper darted by. Others, without, as promptly 
surrounded the house. The first door to the right 
led to the cellar, and down the stairway, lantern in 
hand, leaped a non-commissioned officer, followed by 
a single soldier. Again Miss Heatherwood spoke, 
her voice broken, pleading, now that angry menace 
had proved unavailing. 

"Oh, I implore you, do not, do not. It will rouse 
my mother. She must not be frightened." And 
now in her terror the girl sprang back to the hall- 
way and stood at the door, desperately barring the 

"!N^ot there, sir," bluntly reported the corporal, as 
he came trotting up the cellar stairs. "In the house, 
most like," and, turning as though to enter, recoiled 
before the quivering face of the brave girl. 

"I deplore this. Miss Heatherwood," said the offi- 
cer, sorrowfully, "but we have no choice. Search we 
must, or stand court-martial. Pray step aside," and 
the gauntleted hand closed on her white wrist. 

And then a door was heard to open overhead, and 
quick footsteps followed, and presently these latter 
were heard bounding down the stairs, and along the 
dimly lighted passage there came the tall figure of an 
officer, an officer in Confederate uniform, at sight of 
which Belle Heatherwood gave one cry of anguish 
and fell heavily forward. The Union soldier caught 
and raised her ere she struck the floor. The Con- 
federate took the senseless form from his arms and 
laid it flat upon a lounge within the hall-way. 


"Water, quick!" lie whispered. "Let us restore 
her first; then I — am the man you want." 

And on this picture gazed sternly, yet almost in 
stupefaction, the tall trooper, who had stepped forth 
from an adjoining room just as Mrs. Heatherwood's 
wan, white face came slowly within the zone of the 


For tlie first few moments no one seemed to tliink 
of anything but the nnconscious girl. Kneeling by 
her side was Fairfax sprinkling water on her white 
face and slapping her nerveless hands, striving pite- 
ously to recall her from the almost deadly swoon, 
losing himself utterly in his anxiety for her. Awk- 
wardly, as men will, yet in eager sympathy, the 
Union officer essayed to aid him, while poor old 
Chloe ran to the supf)ort of her invalid mistress, who, 
leaning heavily against the balustrade of the back 
stairway, stood for a moment with blanched face, as 
though dazed and unable to realize the sight before 
her eyes. A moment only she stood there, then, 
leaning on the arm of the old negress, came slowly 
forward, and at her approach the officer again re- 
moved his cap and laid a warning hand on the 
shoulder of his prisoner. Fairfax looked up, and for 
the first time saw the mistress of Heatherwood, and 
the eyes of the Maryland dame and the Virginia 
soldier met. A faint sigh, a slight movement, told 
that consciousness was returning to the daughter of 
the house, but Mrs. Heatherwood's eyes were fixed on 
those of the man, who slowly raised himself from his 
knees and stood almost humbly, yet with the uncon- 
scious dignity of deep uiisfortunp, ij} the presence of 
184 ' ■ ' 


the honored mother of the girl he loved, — the gentle- 
woman who, loving him from early boyhood, had yet 
forbidden him her doors. Out in the kitchen, clus- 
tering near the door, gazing in with mingled s^mi- 
pathy and curiosity in their war-worn faces, stood 
the few troopers. Peering over the balusters half- 
way up to the second story was the pretty face of 
Laura Waddell, bathed in indignant tears, and for a 
moment not one word was uttered. Hardly a sound 
but that fluttering sigh was heard, until at last Mrs. 
Heatherwood slowly spoke: 

"Floyd Fairfax! You here in my house — after 

And the soldier bowed his pale face and stood 
silent and defenceless before her. 

Another sigh from the couch, a tossing of the 
white hand, and quickly, but without a word, Laura 
sped down the stairway, turned, and, brushing past 
old Chloe, threw herself upon her knees beside her 
cousin, who was slowly opening her eyes. 

Then again Mrs. Heatherwood spoke, gravely, 
slowly, and this time to the Union officer. "Were 
you sent here — in search of — this gentleman?" 

"My orders are to arrest," was the solemn answer, 
"Captain Floyd Fairfax, of the Virginia cavalry, 
reported to be lurking in disguise, a spy within our 

"A spy!" exclaimed Fairfax, hotly. "I'm no spy! 

This uniform " But even in the mortal peril 

of his position the Virginia gentleman could not 
stoop to lie. 


"The dress in which Captain Fairfax succeeded 
in passing our patrols and entering these grounds 
was that of a farmer, and with it the additional dis- 
guise of beard and wig," said the officer, almost 

Mrs. Heatherwood looked from one to the other 
in silent dismay. "Do you mean that within these 
doors — you had this uniform concealed — awaiting 
you?" she demanded, in tones so sad and stern they 
thrilled the hearers. 

"Mrs. Heatherwood," impetuously spoke the Vir- 
ginian, "I implore you to blame no one but me. Ask 
no questions now. Do you not realize — do you not 
see — my life depends " 

But before he could finish his statement Laura 
sprang to her feet. 

" 'Fanybody wants to know how this gentleman 
happens to be 't Heatherwood to-night," she cried, 
her fists clinching, her eyes flashing, "just tell 'em I 
did it. I told him to come. I rode out and tried to 
find him, and sent him word that made him come,'' 
she stormed. " 'Twasn't his fault, or Belle's or 
aunty's, or anybody's but mine," she cried. "I sent 
for him, and he's a Virginia gentleman, and he had 
to come." 

"Hush, child!" interposed Madam Heatherwood; 
"hush ! You don't know what you're saying." 

"I do know, and they can 'rest me for a spy or any- 
thing they like. I'm not afraid. Captain Fairfax 
came because I made him believe that aunty wanted 


him here and wanted to see him, and he just couldn't 
refuse, — no gentleman could, — and no gentleman 
would think of taking advantage, mean advantage, of 
another gentleman under such circumstances." How 
her black eyes flashed at the Union officer as she 
spoke! "You can do anything you like to me, but 
don't you blame anybody else," said she. 

"Ah, my dear young lady," interrupted the officer, 
sndling sorrowfully 

"I'm not your dear young lady, or anybody's like 
you " 

"Pardon my presumption," said he, bowing with 
the utmost gravity; "that was indeed unwarrantable. 
What I was about to say was that I feared even your 
imperious orders will not warrant the captain's com- 
ing, in the sight of our Secretary of War; and now 
I shall have to ask that he accompany me at once. 
The ladies can attend to Miss Heatherwood far better 
than we can." 

"At your service, sir," said Fairfax, gravely. 
"But, have we far to go? I'm hardly fit to walk." 

"You shall ride, sir, and it is only to the nearest 
camp, for this night at least." 

"Yes," shouted the irrepressible Laura, despite the 
efforts of Mrs. Heatherwood to silence her, despite 
the picture of Miss Heatherwood, now glancing 
dumbly about from face to face, in piteous appeal, 
"you'd better not try to go too far, for if you run into 
Jeb Stuart hereabouts I wouldn't give much for your 
chances, Mr. Yankee. I don't care where you lock 


Captain Fairfax up, we'll get him out just as soon as 
General Stuart comes, and put you in — see if wo 
don't." But Fairfax himself was interposing now. 

"Laura, Laura!" he warned. "You must control 
that unruly tongue of yours. These gentlemen have 
their orders, and soldiers can only obey. Go up to 
your cousin's room and get my overcoat for me. — 
Forgive me, Mrs. Heatherw^ood," he murmured, "I 
must get rid of this child a moment." Then as the 
girl swung saucily away, totally unable, apparently, 
to realize the gravity of the situation, and casting 
annihilating glances at the Union lieutenant as she 
sped up the stairs, — glances which made his lips 
twitch and his eyes twinkle, despite the solemn na- 
ture of his duty, — Fairfax again turned to his captor. 

"One thing I beg leave to assure you, sir, and that 
is that Mrs. Heatherwood had no idea of my presence 
within her gates until she came upon me here to-- 

"That I understand," was the courteous reply. 
"Xo one will accuse Mrs. Heatherwood of harboring 
the enemy. — What is it, sergeant?" he asked, as a 
trooper entered hurriedly from the rear and seemed 
impatient to speak. 

"There's firing up to the northeast, sir. There's 
a patrol coming up the road." 

The officer's eyes blazed with excitement, but his 
voice was firm and quiet. "Then I shall have to 
hurry you, captain. You really need no overcoat to 
go to the Monocacy. There you'll be comfortably 
housed for the niij::ht." 


Fairfax turned. Belle, covering her face in her 
hands, was shuddering and almost hysterical, and the 
mother bent to soothe her. 

"Give me one minute's conversation with these 
ladies," said the Virginian, almost imploringly. 
"What I have to say concerns us alone. There shall 
be no effort to escape you. I give you my word." 

For a moment there was hesitation in the young 
officer's face, then he turned and motioned with his 
hand. The silent troopers fell back to the kitchen, 
whither their officer followed, halted at the door, 
turned and took one more earnest look at his prisoner; 
then his hand went up to the cap in military salute, 
which Fairfax gravely returned. The door closed 
behind the cavalryman. Mother, daughter, and the 
Virginia captain were alone. Trooper Bell had stood 
for a moment gazing fixedly at the group about the 
sofa on which lay the stricken girl, then had disap- 
peared within his room. Aunt Chloe had drifted 
up the hall, and was rocking to and fro on a settee, 
wringing her black hands in distress. Aloft, Laura's 
shrill voice could be distinctly heard behind closed 
doors in lively altercation with somebody. Presently 
back she came, bounding, with Ralph Heatherwood's 
coat upon her arm. A smell of burning hair came 
floating down after her, and now her face was white 
with anxiety. "What do they mean, telling me you 
can be tried for a spy? as if a man hasn't a right to 
wear a wig in a free country," she prattled, as she 
threw herself upon Fairfax and seemed striving to 


envelop the new gray uniform in sheltering folds of 
heavy cloth. ''The Yankees can't get that old wig 
and beard, anyhow, — Ralph's burned 'em, — but," 
and now at last she lowered her voice, fearful lest her 
words might reach the kitchen, "there's no place to 
hide those farmer clothes. Ralph says we must get 
rid of them before the search is made." 

Outside the trampling of hoofs and the eager 
voices of men, though only faintly heard in this 
sheltered hall, told of the coming of additional 
troops. There was stir and excitement among the 
soldiers in the kitchen. Belle TIeatherwood, weep- 
ing silently, had buried her face in her gentle 
mother's breast, and Mrs. Heatherwood, kneeling 
beside her, was whispering soothing words. Fairfax 
stepped to the door as though to bolt it against intru- 
sion, but Mrs. Heatherwood looked up into his pale 
face, and, though she spoke no word, he seemed to 
read disapprobation of the move, and dropped his 
hand dejectedly. 

"Blame no one but me, Mrs. Heatherwood," he 
began, so low and sad his voice that her heart welled 
over with pity. 

"My poor boy! My poor boy !'^ she cried. "How 
could you be so rash? IToyd, Floyd, what would 
your mother have said ? Is it true you came here — 
disguised? Didn't you know what that would mean 
if you were taken?" 

Sadly he bowed his head. "It is true. It was the 
only way. But they have not yet found it. They 


cannot prove I wore it. You see liow we arranged it 
the moment we realized that search was to be made, 
I ran to Ralph's room and changed from farmer 
clothes to his uniform and came down in that. No 
one of their number has seen me in anything else. 
'Prisoner of war until exchanged' is the worst I need 
fear, unless they discover those things. And now," 
— his eyes turned with sad entreaty to the weeping 
girl, — "have you no word for me, Belle ? Go I must 
at once, but," and again the fire flashed in his eyes 
and he drew himself to his full height, "if it be true 
that Stuart is coming, — Stuart, — I'll be with my 
own within another day." 

]\Irs. Heatherwood had risen to her feet, listening 
eagerly to his words, yet with straining ear seemed 
catching some far-away sound borne on the night 
wind. The soldiers in the kitchen but a moment 
before had also apparently heard some sound with- 
out, and had swarmed over to the lawn to the east of 
the old house. Footsteps, halting, were heard over- 
head; Ralph was stealthily hurrying to the head of 
the stairs. His mother hastened to the balustrade 
and gazed up at him, but Chloe, whom he first 
caught sight of, had lifted her head, and he tossed to 
her a bundle of clothing, tightly knotted. 

"Burn it, Chloe, in the big fireplace, quick as you 
can," he cried. "Mother, have you heard firing? 
Brad swears he can hear shots off beyond Sugar 
Loaf." The old negress mechanically gathered up 
the bundle as it rolled to her feet. 


''They ain't been a spark of fire in the old chimney- 
place this fall/' she moaned, "and I can't stuff this 
yeah in the kitchen stove." 

And at that instant there came heavy footsteps 
and clanking sabre in the kitchen again — an impera- 
tive rap at the heavy door. Impulsively Mrs. 
Heatherwood seized and thrust the trembling old 
darky into the door of the little room at which, only 
a moment or two before. Trooper Bell had stood 
and gazed so strangely at the group. Then the hall 
door was thrown open, and there in the light of the 
lamps stood a burly officer in blue, splashed with 
mud from top to toe, the taller and younger soldier, 
Fairfax's captor, gazing anxiously over his shoulder. 

"Captain Fairfax," said the former, with hardly 
an instant's notice of the ladies, "you are my prisoner. 
It is my duty to tell you that you were recognized 
in disguise near Poolesville to-day; that you came 
here in the garb of a farmer. In Confederate uni- 
form you could never have reached this house, and 
your disguise must be here. It will save these ladies 
the distress of having our men searching about the 
house. Where shall we find it?" 

Out came old Aunt Chloe, wringing her black 
hands about her head and rocking back and forth, 
the picture of Ethiopian misery. Behind her the 
door was softly closed. Fairfax faced his accuser 
haughtily. There was no strain of sorrow or half 
sympathy in the new arrival's tone as there was in 
that of the junior officer. 


"I am your prisoner, sir, and in the uniform of 
my rank," was the slow reply, as, leaning on her 
mother's arm and Laura's, Belle Heatherwood pain- 
fully lifted herself from the sofa and stood facing 
the new-comer, her tear-wet face white as the wall 
behind her. It seemed almost as though she had 
ranged herself by the side of her kinsman lover to 
share his danger and confront his foes. Speechless 
with grief, Mrs. Heatherwood, too, could only gaze 
at the intruder, as though imploring him to spare 
their guest. 

"I have no time to argue," were the officer's next 
words. "If you do not choose to tell where those 
garments are, it will be my duty to search, and my 
men are ready." 

"The laws of war, sir, do not compel a prisoner to 
produce evidence on which to hang himself, but I 
hope you will refrain from anything that may be dis- 
tressing to these ladies." 

"Step in here, three of you," was the curt and 
instant order, and the officer, uniformed as a major 
of cavalry, followed by three troopers, muddy as 
himself, strode clanking into the hall-way. Instinc- 
tively Laura sprang and stood at the door of the 
nearest room, and the burly soldier saw it at a glance. 

"In there," he said, almost shouldering his way 
past the silent, trembling, tearful women, and still 
there stood Laura, both cheeks and eyes aflame now, 
stretching her arms across the space and glaring de- 
fiance at the coming foe. 



"Laura, child," expostulated Mrs. Heatherwood, 
"you'll only make matters worse. Step aside." But 
in the heart of Miss AVaddell the spirit of rampant 
rebellion had smouldered long and now burst into 

"Don't you dare lay hand on me, you — you 
Yankee villain!" she cried, as the officer coolly 
stretched forth a burly arm and not too gently 
grasped her rounded wrist. "Oh, you'd, you'd pay 
for this if we were in Virginia," she panted, fiercely 
struggling now, for he was calmly drawing her away, 
and a private soldier, bounding past them, thrust 
open the door. Both Fairfax and Mrs. Heatherwood 
had stepped forward as though to relieve the strange 
officer of his struggling spitfire of a combatant, but 
as the soldier disappeared within the darkness of the 
room, a gust of cold night air set the lamps to flaring 
and smoking, and the door swung to with a slam. A 
second trooper reopened it and followed the first. 
Again the night wind blew fresh and strong into the 
open hall, and, borne on the breeze, came floating the 
sound of a cavalry trumpet, some brisk, merry signal 
from the northward lane. 

"They're sounding forward, sir," sang out one of 
the men, "and this window's wide open, like as 
though some one had jumped out. The curtain's 

twisted " But, seizing the lantern borne by the 

younger officer, the major hastened into the room, 
and looked about him. The bed, somewhat rum- 
pled, stood at the left of the door. There was an old- 


fashioned clothes-press, and then a bureau and dress- 
ing-table combined, a stand, and some chairs. There 
were some pictures on the walls, pretty curtains at 
the window floating in the breeze on one side and 
twisted into a sort of rope on the other, hanging out- 
ward. It was a drop of seven or eight feet to the 
ground, and the major called for instant search 
below. A trooper or two, lantern bearing, ran 
around from the rear and gave one look. There in 
the soft wet soil was the print of shapely boots. 
Some one had leaped from the window and darted off 
into the shrubbery within the minute or two that the 
men had clustered on the eastward lawn, listening 
to the sharp firing that burst upon the night away 
out over the fields towards Ilyattstown. When the 
major came forth from the little room his face was 
very grave. 

"Mrs. Heatherwood," said he, "my colonel re- 
ceived instructions at Washington not forty-eight 
hours ago requiring that every protection should be 
accorded you and your property, with the assurances 
that you were a loyal woman. Yet at Poolesville 
to-day we are warned that a spy was harbored in 
your house, and now that I am sent here to arrest 
him, I find indications that there has been more than 

"This lady, sir," interrupted Fairfax, hotly, "was 
utterly ignorant of my coming. Your colonel heard 
the truth, I came against her express wish and with- 
out her knowledge, but except her son and nephew, 


wounded and paroled, who are in their beds iip-stairs, 
no one else is here or has been here. Am I not right, 

"Not another soul!" was her low, firm answer, and 
Mrs. Heatherwood's wan face was uplifted proudly 
as she spoke. 

Then of a sudden there came from without the 
muffled sound of excited challenge, and then, loud 
and sharp, the ring of a cavalry carbine from the 
shrubbery on the northwestward side, a rush and 
sputter of hoofs, and the major sprang through the 
little room to the window. 

"What is it? What's happened?" he shouted to 
a soldier who was darting by. 

"A spy, sir, or something, — a feller that was 
sneaking away a-horseback from the bam, takin' a 
short cut down among the trees there. The moment 
they challenged he clapped spurs to his horse and 
rode like the devil. They fired at him, but it's too 
dark, sir. He's probably got away." 

And now a second time Belle Heatherwood sank 
nerveless to the sofa and Fairfax turned upon her 
with wonderment and inquiry in his dark-brown 
eyes. She was trembling with dread. She hid her 
face in her hands and seemed to shrink from his gaze, 
and again Mrs. Heatherwood bent to soothe her. 
Two minutes' search showed that there was nothing 
in the little room even faintly resembling farmer's 
garb, and at this announcement Fairfax looked at 
Mrs. Heatherwood and she at him, incredulous. 


"Go on to the next room then," ordered the major, 
half angrily, as he turned once more into the hall. 
Then hurriedly there entered the lieutenant who was 
the first to reach them that strange evening. 

"Major," said he, "Colonel Belden sends word that 
he desires your squadron to follow at once," and it 
sounded as though the junior delivered the message 
with no little comfort. 

"Then I leave you in charge of the prisoner and 
to continue the search, sir," was the sharp reply. 
"Ladies, I hope I may never have another duty like 
this," With that he turned abruptly and went clank- 
ing from the door. 

"Colonel Belden!" exclaimed Fairfax, in surprise. 
"May I ask what Belden, and what regiment?" 

"Colonel Grosvenor Belden, sir, — th Pennsyl- 
vania. He has been our colonel less than a week." 

"And he is here — near us?" 

"iSTot two miles away when I came forward. We 
are marching to the Monocacy, where we expect 
orders to meet us. The whole country knows by this 
time that Stuart's up there somewhere, and we hope 
to find him at daybreak."^ 


Midnight came and Heatlierwood was still as the 
grave. Even the plash and patter of rain-drops had 
ceased, thongh once in a while the night wind, sigh- 
ing by, would stir the trees and shower the place be- 
neath. The sounds of distant battle that were wafted 
on the breeze an hour earlier had ceased as suddenly 
as they began. Up on Sugar Loaf the signal-men 
seemed keeping ceaseless vigil, and from time to time 
their torches swung some message to distant towers 
on the Catoctin. Ralph Heatlierwood, sleepless with 
excitement, had been moved to a room at the north- 
east corner, from whose windows he could gaze out 
over the black void before him, broken only by the 
occasional flare of that signal-torch. With his glasses 
he searched in vain for tiny ground lights that might 
tell of the movement of troops, but northward and 
northeastward not a spark could be seen. From 
Tighlman's windows on the south side, through rifts 
in the thinning foliage, they could make out bivouac 
fires down along the towpath to the southwest 
towards Conrad's Ferry, and over the rolling fields 
towards Poolesville. But the Virginia shores beyond 
were invisible in one general pall, neither star above 
nor spark below relieving the black monotony. 
Tighlman, too, half dressed, was hobbling fretfully 


about his room, a prey to a dozen hopes, fears, and 
perturbations. He had looked on Fairfax not a year 
agone with jealous hate, and had even taken to the 
Xew Yorker, Lowndes, because he, too, seemed re- 
jected and wearing the willow, and together they had 
gloomily spent several days at Frederick, and then 
had gone into Baltimore for a whirl at the club, but 
there Tighlman found the Gothamite set a pace too 
fast for his untutored head and stomach, and he, 
falling early by the way-side, repented of his folly, 
while his more seasoned associate kept at his cups 
until prostrated by illness that so alarmed his friends 
as to lead to their notifying the woman who seemed a 
saint to all men, Xorth or South, who knew her, — 
Madam Heatherwood ; and she had come and nursed 
Lowndes as a mother might have done had mother 
been spared to him. Tighlman saw no more of him. 
He went back to Heatherwood to reopen the siege, 
but found Belle intractable and far more disturbed 
about his Xew York friend than about himself. She 
plied her cousin with questions about Lowndes, re- 
fusing to answer as to Fairfax, who had gone back 
to Leesburg for a few days before the expiration of 
his leave, and Tighlman left the Towers with jealous 
heart and went abroad, as we have seen, and then — 
forgot all about it. 

jSTow here he was again at Heatherwood, and 
Floyd Fairfax was again beneath its roof, lured 
thither by his love for Belle, no doubt, despite the 
project for a signal-system, and that visit had cost 
him his liberty and might cost him his life. 


Yielding to Mrs. Heatlierwood's appeal, the lieu- 
tenant left in charge of the prisoner had consented 
to pass the night with his guard under her roof 
rather than expose a still enfeebled man to the pelt- 
ing of the rain. The camp at the Monocacy would 
be damp at best, and would he not be just as safe 
here? she argued. Lieutenant Wardner was a gen- 
tleman who believed in square fight in the field and 
no unnecessary friction at other times. He couldn't 
hit a man who was down. He was ordered to con- 
tinue the search for that farmer's suit, so, wliile some 
of his men rummaged in room after room, — no one 
of course daring to inform him that the important 
bundle had most mysteriously been spirited away 
from the very first room opened, — Wardner, with 
armed troopers in the hall and at the window, sat in 
the parlor with his captive, chatting, as soldiers will, 
as though no thought of enmity had ever existed. 
Before midnight Mrs. Heatherwood with Belle had 
retired to a room where they were urged to try to 
sleep, but not an eyelid closed save those of the 
drowsy negroes up to the time the old Dutch clock, 
ticking solemnly in the hall-way, trolled in pro- 
longed, mellow notes the hour of two. Despite the 
fact that Stuart with his bold raiders was somewhere 
there to the dripping north, that war to the knife was 
waging between the sections, ISTorth and South, the 
silence of utter solitude had fallen on the heart of 

"Where on earth do you suppose Stuart is to- 


niglit?" "was the question Tiglilman asked his cousin, 
as the latter came limping over a little after twelve, 
and Heatherwood shook his head. 

"God knows," said he. "They've got men enough 
gathering about us to swallow him alive. I don't see 
how he can come this way. I don't see how he can 
get back, anyway." 

And, indeed, the Union men were gathering in 
desperate earnest as well as in urgent haste. Down 
in the valley to the west two Maine regiments of in- 
fantry were guarding the aqueduct and the Mono- 
cacy crossing. Down the towpath to the southwest 
near Conrad's were Clark and his !N^ew Hampshire 
men, in close touch with other infantry from Stone- 
man's force at Poolesville. Up the valley of the 
j\Ionocacy, crossing to the west bank at midnight, 
rode a tall, athletic, most soldierly looking young 
colonel at the head of four strong squadrons of Penn- 
sylvanians, the silver eagles of his shoulder-straps 
apparently brand-new. Over on the pike near 
Hyattstown old Foulweather was swearing like the 
pirate his men declared him to be, for with his fatal 
propensity to butt his head against a stone wall, he 
had succeeded in bringing on a sharp fight in the 
dark, crippling some of his own men and knocking 
spots out of a squadron that, knowing nothing of his 
being in that neighborhood, had opened fire on a 
scouting party that came jingling in towards Hyatts- 
town from the northwest. The squadron commander 
had the not unreasonable supposition that here was 


Stuart himself, since all Union cavalry was marcliing 
the opposite way, and challenged sharply. Foul- 
weather when challenged had instantly ordered the 
troop to charge and clear the road, which Treacy did 
in tremendous style, only to fetch up standing in a 
whole circle of fire flashes and the midst of blas- 
phemous men in muddy blue. 

"You fired on us furrest!" howled Treacy. 

"You ran down our advance," yelled the opposing 
commander. "Who in paradise are you, anyhow?" 

" — th Regulars and be dashed to you! You've 
shot three of my best harrses. Hwat were ye before 
we broke the backs av ye?" demanded Treacy, for 
Foulweather was picking himself out of the wreck 
of a cart his horse had tripped over. 

" — th Pennsylvania. Dash, dash, double dash you 
for a gang of blear-eyed, butt-headed idiots! Get 
out of our way and let us straighten out!" 

And so between execrations and exertions the offi- 
cers gradually got their men into column again, and 
then Foulweather damned a trooper off his horse and 
climbed into saddle and bade Treacy gather up the 
debris and let the Keystone cavalry by. 

"Wait till we finish this business," said he, shaking 
a brawny fist at the opposing major, "and I'll give 
your colonel a lesson he'll not forget in a hurry. 
Where is he, and what's his name?" 

"Half-way to Frederick by this time and waiting 
for us at the Monocacy, where we might have been 
but for your infernal blundering. You talk to our 


colonel, if you think it wise, dasli, dasli you. He's 
a regular of the right sort, which you're not. Gros- 
venor Eelden's his name, and I'll warrant you he'll 
meet you more than half-way." 

Foulweather's jaw dropped like lead. "Grosvenor 
Belden!" he cried. "Since when has /le been a colo- 
nel, I'd like to know?" 

"Since the first of the week, sir. And who shall 
I tell him charged his fourth squadron without 
answering challenge?" demanded the Pennsylva- 
nian, wrathful to the core. 

"Tell him, by God ! you tell him you were ridden 
down, your whole damned squadron, by a platoon 
of his old regiment, that he ought to be with this 
night instead of tin soldiering with a lot of yahoos 
that don't know a horse from a hospital. Go your 
way," he raved, furiously, "and thank God there was 
only thirty of us in it, and be damned civil to those 
of ours that you pass along the pike, or you'll get 
into more trouble." 

Pleasant talk did troopers deal in during those 
halcyon days that tried men's souls — and tempers, 
and neither leader felt the better for that hapless 
clash in the darkness. Stirring up the inmates of a 
neighboring farm-house, who were scared half out of 
their wits already, the regulars bore within their 
door the half-dozen shot or sabred men of both par- 
ties, gave the coup de grace to the wounded and suf- 
fering horses, and then came the question, "What 


Up to the moment of the catastrophe, Foulweather 
had been full of hope, pluck, and fire. Confident 
that he would get farther out to the front than any- 
body else, even Mcintosh, and be the first to tackle 
Stuart in the morning, he had pursued his northward 
way unhesitatingly, but now, as the squadron stood 
horse in the dark and empty fields, he gazed miser- 
ably to the northwest, the direction of the pike, and 
was at a loss what to do or say. It had just dawned 
upon him that, in his eagerness to keep his own 
counsel and command, he had separated himself 
from the men who might know something of Stuart's 
movements, and here was Belden, colonel of volun- 
teers after all, the position that the young captain so 
eagerly had sought before, and the chances were, two 
to one, that that hated Belden had the "tip" as to 
Stuart's route, and had been hurried towards Fred- 
erick purposely to meet him. 

And this meant that, of all men in the world, Bel- 
den, Grosvenor Belden, was now between him and 
Stuart, with every chance of being first to strike the 
foe in the morning. 

"Mount! Sound the mount!" ordered Foul- 
weather, as with savage oath he sprang into saddle. 
"By fours, Treacy, and come lively." 

An hour later, despite weariness and hunger, the 
squadrons were jogging away northwestward, follow- 
ing the pike to the crossing of the Monocacy and on 
up towards Frederick, meeting now and then belated 
and bewildered orderlies and couriers, whom Foul- 


weather would eagerly question, and who could only 
tell that Belden's squadrons were still in the lead, 
and that Stuart was raising merry hades far beyond 
him. And so it happened that when the cold gray 
dawn crept into the eastward sky, and slowly, reluc- 
tantly lifted the pall of night from the sodden fields 
and muddy lanes and dripping copses, most of the 
Union cavalry in that part of Maryland had been 
drawn away far up the west bank of the Monocacy to 
head off Stuart, who, laughing in his gray sleeve, was 
trotting swiftly far down the east bank; and just at 
sunrise, after a twisting, tortuous, but most hilarious 
all-night march, mostly at the trot, with about a 
thousand fresh horses from Southern Pennsylvania, 
with new clothes and boots and weapons for many of 
his men, with only two or three troopers missing, 
and Pelham's guns clinking merrily as ever in the 
column, Stuart burst out upon the jDike just where 
Foulweather crashed into the Pennsylvanians eight 
hours before, and there wasn't a single squadron to 
oppose him. 

A wonderful march had he had. Yet when Stuart 
left Chambersburg on Saturday morning, after 
burning the railway shops and trains, and destroying 
such public property and stores and arms as he could 
not carry away, he well knew that an eventful day 
was before him, and that only by most adroit, rapid 
and daring movement could he hope to dodge his 
way through to the Potomac. By this time he felt 
assured the valley of the Antietam was swarming 


with troops, assembled there, and along the Cono- 
cocheagiie to the west, to head him off should he 
return that way. By this time Averill, with all the 
force at his disposal, and Cox, with his division of 
infantry, would be lining the upper river towards 
Cumberland. Southward, however, east of the Blue 
Ridge, the broad, beautiful valley of the Monocacy 
was comparatively open, and Frederick, crammed 
with wounded and convalescents, filled with stores 
and supplies, and guarded only by a little force of 
cavalry and infantry, was a tempting bait to lure him 
down the right bank of that storied stream. East- 
ward, however, he headed his columns, leaving 
Hampton to bring up the rear and beat back pursuers 
should any appear, — eastward as though he meant 
to burst through the South Mountain and swoop 
down on Gettysburg, lying there defenceless in the 
heart of the beautiful farming country beyond. And 
that was how the cry went up that Gettysburg, too, 
was to be sacked and burned, but even while the 
governor of Pennsylvania was urging that troops be 
ordered thither by rail, Stuart dodged to the right. 
Xo sooner was the gray column (headed, so they say, 
by certain squadrons all tricked out, spick and span, 
in Yankee blue) safely through the range, than it 
turned southward, marching leisurely yet, for 
Stuart's object was to delude and deceive; then, back 
by the road to the southwest, again he pierces the 
range, and scouts and citizens, who watch him from 
afar, give tongue that the fox has doubled and is 


coming back to Hagerstown, where, too, are huge 
stores and supplies and heavy battalions of infantry 
ready to receive him. Six or eight miles, until the 
sun is high, does he march for all the world as though 
he meant to dare the whole Union force to the west 
of the mountains, and then, after long hours of easy 
jog, gathering in horses from every side as he rides 
along, the wary leader once more turns abruptly 
towards the east and darts for Emmittsburg, close to 
the boundary line, and here the Southern sympa- 
thizers cheer him to the echo, so he says, and here, 
while rejoicing in their joy, he misses one splendid 
chance, for a big scouting party of Dick Rush's swell 
lancers had only just passed northeastward up the 
pike towards Gettysburg, looking for him in that 
quarter, but never intending, we may be assured, to 
jeopard their own safety by running far into those 
clutches. They are to be the eyes of the army, to 
peer about the valley towards the old seminary town 
and send word back what Stuart is doing and 
whither he is going. Yet here comes Stuart from the 
westward, not the north, slips in between this ven- 
turesome party and its main body do^vn towards 
Frederick, captures within the hour the colonel's 
couriers galloping after its commander with de- 
spatches which Stuart joyously reads to his staff, and 
laughs over the perplexity he is causing. Then away 
he goes again as the night wears on, this time straight 
for Frederick, and every soul in its rapidly augment- 
ing garrison believes him still far up in Pennsyl- 


vania; othel'wise, tlie lancers on the lookont would 
surely have sent warning. There is actually nothing 
now to prevent his dashing down and sabring the 
outposts of the beautiful old Maryland town, nothing 
but the realization that, just as skilfully as he has 
slipped in between the detachments of the enemy, 
"all ascout" for him, so may he slip out, and all their 
traps be unavailing. Darkness comes to aid him, 
and even while Pleasonton, with eight hundred 
cavalry and Pennington's light guns, after struggling 
through the rocky passes of Harmony Gap in the 
Catoctins, reaches Mechanicstown at half-past eight 
and halts, wearied with his long, long day of march- 
ing to and fro, Stuart's light-heeled column, moving 
at the trot, — with daring fellows far in the advance 
and out on either flank wherever there is road or by- 
way, riding as though they had known each lane 
from boyhood, halting at times to feed, water, and 
care for their stock, to drink their coffee or sample 
Maryland cider, — crosses the Monocacy away above 
Frederick and passes through the little village of 
]\liddletown just at midnight, only five miles from 
where Pleasonton's jaded column waits expectant of 
his coming from the north, instead of which he is 
slipping around the easternmost pickets and patrols. 
And now, leaving nearly all the Union horse, 
regular or volunteer, west of the Monocacy, away 
rides Stuart, free and untrammelled, bequeathing to 
Pleasonton after all only the galling fortunes of a 
stern chase. Thanks to their ill condition at the start, 


thanks to long delay in getting news or orders, 
thanks to having gone far west of Hagerstown at the 
very moment when the foe was far to the northeast, 
thanks to rough and rocky roads and unseasoned 
horses, the little Union column is well-nigh spent 
when it halts at ]\Iechanicsto^vn and sends patrols out 
scouting north and east, only to learn an hour after 
midnight that instead of interposing between Stuart 
and the Virginia shore, as Pleasonton intended, he 
has been outridden by the nimble Virginian, who, 
giving him the slip, is already far ahead. Dis- 
heartened, but determined, Pleasonton calls up his 
men and, by two o'clock this still and should-be- 
peaceful Sunday morning, takes the shortest route to 
the mouth of the Monocacy, and just as the first 
faint streaks of dawn are lighting the eastern skies 
he rides through Frederick, even as the advance of 
Stuart, ten miles away to the southeast, dashes boldly 
out upon the Washington Pike at Hyattstown. 

Sunday morning, and over farm and hamlet east- 
ward the angel of jaeace seems still to have folded her 
^vings, yet all through these erstwhile qiiiet old 
Maryland towns, Monrovia, Liberty, Woodsborough, 
the lights have been flitting for hours, and honest 
burghers jabbering excitedly. Such a night they 
had never known before. Two thousand rebel cav- 
alry have been passing through since midnight, and 
it seemed like twenty thousand, and as though they 
could never cease, and all this time, mth all this 

trouble, only once does a Union force, big or little, 



come witliin pistol range of the main body. Away 
over towards Gettysburg a little knot of gray -jackets, 
thrown well out to cover Stuart's flank, is charged 
by some mounted horse-guards, who claim five 
prisoners as the result. But the column itself was 
miles away to the westward at the moment, appar- 
ently moving back towards Hagerstown. But this 
midnight betwixt Saturday and Sunday one of 
Hush's troops, scouting into Woodsborough, finds the 
town agog with excitement and squadron after 
squadron of Stuart's cavaliers trotting through, and 
wisely the lancers do not make their presence known. 
Just one straggler does the column leave behind, — 
young Scott, of the First Virginia, whom the lancers 
had nabbed far in rear of his comrades and led before 
their colonel. ''A most intelligent young man," said 
Kush, — a young man who entertains him with full 
description of the composition of the command, and 
how it came and how it proposed to return; and, 
furthermore, Scott entertains no fear for either 
Stuart's safety or his own. Sunday morning, and 
already in Frederick there are bells a-chiming, sum- 
moning the faithful to arise and worship, while mud- 
bespattered troopers and black-mouthed cannon are 
hurrying southward through the stony streets. 
Away down the Monocacy the Maine regiments have 
thrown out companies on every road, and there they 
stand and shiver, so many spectres in light-blue over- 
coats, wondering which way that bewildering Stuart 
will really come. And far to the northeast, Mcln- 


tosh, with his squadron, has crossed the Baltimore 
and Ohio track during the night and found the line 
and wires all right, yet when he sends back orderlies 
with despatches to be forwarded by telegraph at 
dawn, the operator shakes his head and looks fear- 
fully westward. ]^o trains are moving, and the lines 
have all been cut within the hour. Somewhere 
towards dawn, old Foulweather, bivouacking in the 
fields southeast of Frederick and close to the Mono- 
cacy, is electrified by the news brought in by a 
farmer from near Monrovia over to the east of them, 
— that the rebels were actually riding into Liberty 
two hours before; and, though men and horses have 
had hardly two hours' sleep, the veteran routs them 
out again, and noiselessly, so as to give no informa- 
tion to Belden, whose detested squadrons are resting 
half a mile above, away he leads northeastward, 
with the unwilling farmer as his guide, bound to 
recross the stream and be the first to challenge and 
bait the coming foe. But Liberty is much farther 
than he thought. Xot until long after daylight does 
he reach the excited village, to find nothing of the 
rebel column but its muddy trail. Stuart, said the 
villagers, had gone south hours before, and must be 
crossing the Potomac now. Foulweather could have 
turned in pursuit at once, but here was grain in 
abundance; his horses had had no mouthful since 
noon the day before, had been marching almost con- 
stantly, and so he ordered dismount, unsaddle, water, 


feed, and feast, as best tliey could, tlirew himself 
upon a bench at the village tavern, and opened the 
Sabbath-day services with a string of bitter execra- 
tion, just as the flags on Sugar Loaf began to swing 
in mad earnest, for away down in the open fields 
about Hyattstown the lookouts could faintly dis- 
tinguish dense masses of moving objects that, as the 
light grew stronger, proved to be cavalry with led 
horses and wagons galore, — cavalry mainly in gray 

Sunday morning at Heatherwood, and hour after 
hour while some of the inmates slept others kept 
watch and ward, and just at daybreak, at least as 
soon as it grew light enough to see, Tighlman, limp- 
ing from his bed to the adjoining room, heard his 
name called in eager and excited tone, and found 
his fellow-captain crouching by the open casement 
gazing with eager eyes through his binocular. 

"Look, Brad," cried Heatherwood. "Look, and 
thank God! Oh, if Fairfax, too, could only see it. 
By heaven, I must tell him!" And forgetful of 
pain, wounds, or peril, the young officer hobbled to 
the head of the stairs, and the halls of the old home- 
stead rang and re-echoed to his joyous cry: "Fairfax ! 
Fairfax, old boy! Take heart, man! Here we are, 
not five miles away. Stuart in force, by all that's 

And out on the lawn there was instant response, 
and men in blue took up the cry with variations of 


their own, and horses, tethered to the trees by the 
winding roadside, snorted in sympathy with the stir 
and excitement, and down in the timber by the river 
bank a hoarse thunder of drum began, and then, 
shrill, blaring, and insistent, the bugles struck up the 
thrilling call, "To arms!" 


Sunday morning, and, apparently unconscious of 
coming battle, the farm and village people on the 
broad plateau southeast of Heatherwood are donning 
their Sunday best, and many a stout father of the 
family has hitched in the farm team to drive the 
good wife and brood to Monocacy church at the cross- 
roads north of Poolesville. Sunday morning, and 
over on the Virginia Kittoctans eager, anxious eyes 
are gazing across the Potomac, studying the distant 
fields of Southern Maryland, while throbbing hearts 
are praying for the safety of their hero Stuart. Sun- 
day morning, and the signal-towers on the loftiest 
summits are flagging thrilling messages to and fro, 
and here at Sugar Loaf the occupants watch with 
keen anxiety every movement of the massing foe so 
close at hand. Thirteen hundred feet in air their 
eyrie towers over the plain, but less than forty-eight 
hours ago some of these same indefatigable riders 
galloped up the twisting road to Fairview, sixty miles 
to the west, and played havoc with the signal-station 
there. Suppose it should occur to Stuart to detach 
a troop or two to clamber Sugar Loaf and raid their 
lofty rookery. Suppose it should occur to Pelham, 
trotting out yonder with a brace of those light guns 

he sights as a Kentuckian would sight a squirrel rifle, 


to unlimber one of his pets, sink the trail into the 
ditch bejond the road, and risk an axle tossing high 
a few shells, just to try the range to Sugar Loaf's 
summit. Lieutenant Carey can be excused for think- 
ing how Roe and Rowley were chased from their 
station the misty morning of two days gone by, but 
Carey sticks to his post and watches like a cat. Sun- 
day morning, and the companies sent out to picket 
the roads are peeping through snake fences and 
hedgerows at those far-away gray squadrons, and 
wondering will Stuart come their way (in which case 
the quicker they scurry back to supports the safer it 
will be), or will he take some other road and leave 
them undisturbed? Sunday morning, with the sun 
an hour high, and there is thrill and excitement and 
swift riding to and fro everywhere along the river 
from Point of Rocks to Edward's Ferry, and all 
along the Monocacy, for has not the Iron Secretary 
wired from Washington that not a man of that in- 
vading host must be allowed to escape back to Vir- 
ginia? Stoneman commanding at Poolesville, and 
Ward at Conrad's Ferry, and Pleasonton, with his 
exhausted command strung out in long column 
northward from the bank of the Monocacy, which he 
reaches with his advance at eight o'clock, and Burn- 
side's brigades over to the west, are all striving to 
throw a force across the path of the dim gray squad- 
rons coming swiftly southward now, covered by their 
veil of skirmishers, making straight for Poolesville, — 
so straight that Stoneman's outposts, falling back to 


avoid capture, sjDread the tale that Poolesville will 
be attacked within an honr, and that Edward's 
Ferry, or possibly — barely possibly — Conrad's, is 
Stuart's objective point. Burdened with led horses 
and with the persons of civil officials whom he cannot 
parole and is ordered to bring with him to be held 
as hostages, the blond-bearded leader rides with more 
deliberation now, and it is beautiful to see the style 
and skill and finish with which his advance and 
flankers do their trooper work. The masses of the 
main body issue from Hyattstown about as the sun 
is rising. No stop for breakfast this time, gentlemen. 
We'll lunch in Loudoun County in comfort later on, 
say the aides. But while these masses, with the 
prisoners and the led horses, are moved steadily 
southward on the Poolesville road, other squadrons, 
with two of Pelham's light guns, are far to the front. 
Other platoons and sections are spurring out on every 
lane, south, east, and west. Every little ridge and 
hillock is held and occupied, every roadway picketed 
against the coming of formidable force. Before 
their dash the scattered fragments of Union cavalry, 
still in the neighborhood, recoil upon their slim re- 
serves, and the word goes flying right and left, "Look 
out for Poolesville; Stuart's heading there!" Far 
to the north still Hampton, who led the advance, 
now covers the rear, and it is late as seven o'clock 
when his rearmost troop lets go at Liberty and trots 
away to Monrovia, turning from time to time to show 
its f^ngs to the few pursuing scouts. Away up the 


]\Ionocacy the lancers and the Maine cavalry are 
nibbing their eyes and wondering how it was possible 
for Stuart to go so fast and clear around them, and 
Belden, "svith his newly recruited but enthusiastic 
Pennsylvanians, is raging over the orders that sent 
him far to the west of the river when his own in- 
stincts warned him to keep to the east. And away 
up at Liberty poor Foulweather is grinding his teeth 
in bitter wrath and dismay, for Stuart has tricked 
them one and all, has ridden one hundred miles in 
twenty-four hours, and, still alert, jaunty, and debo- 
nair, comes trotting out upon the open fields to the 
east of Heatherwood to choose his homeward path 
across the broad Potomac. 

Sunday morning, and the hour has come at 
Heatherwood when for all the years of her occu- 
pancy it was the custom of the gentle mistress to 
summon her household about her in the southeast 
parlor for family prayers. Here lies the sacred vol- 
ume on its accustomed table, but no worshippers 
kneel at the quaint old-fashioned chairs and sofa or 
on the matting-covered floor. A fire has been started 
during the night in the \\dde fireplace, but is smoul- 
dering now. The shades and blinds are tightly drawn, 
and only a dim, ghostly light penetrates an empty 
room, silent and neglected in the midst of stir and 
bustle and excitement and sound of scurrying feet 
and straining voices such as Heatherwood had never 
known before. 

In Kalph's room overhead are his mother^ with 


Belle and Laura, the former pale and silent, the lat- 
ter flushed and radiant, and the three Confederate 
officers, Fairfax, Heatherwood, and Tighlman, with 
their embarrassed guardian, the young officer of the 
cavalry guard. Aunt Chloe and her husband have 
prepared breakfast, and the table is spread and ready, 
but no one heeds. To the scandal of these old-time 
domestics, the hall doors, front and rear, are open, 
and soldiers in muddy boots clank through and 
through without so much as "by your leave." In- 
deed, nothing but the presence of the sentry at the 
drawing-room door prevents the hungry intruders 
from helping themselves, as most of them have done 
in the kitchen, where Aunt Chloe has been making 
coffee and corn-bread since earliest dawn. Tighl- 
man, trembling with weakness and excitement, has 
had to lie down again. Fairfax and Ralph, with 
their glasses, crouch at the eastern window. The 
Union lieutenant, placed in the most embarrassing 
position he has ever known, conceives it to be his 
duty to keep Fairfax constantly within reach, yet 
will not curb or hamper him in any way. Mrs. 
Heatherwood, in whose gentle eyes the tears are 
welling, is seated close by Tighlman's couch, with 
Belle sometimes crouching at her feet, sometimes 
starting up in irrepressible eagerness and excitement, 
and running to the window to gaze over her brother's 
shoulder. Only here and there in little patches can 
the eastward fields be seen, for the rain has beaten 
but few of the fading leaves to earth, and the autumn 


foliage still hangs thick and clustering. But south- 
eastward a broader vista can be obtained, and yonder, 
nearly eight miles off, lies Poolesville, and the inter- 
vening roads and farms and fields are spread out like 
a map. From the lawn below the voices of the men 
come drifting up, eager and excited. Some of the 
more agile have clambered into the trees, and all of 
a sudden from one of their number comes the shout : 

"I see 'em, boys, not a mile away. Cracky! a 
whole regiment of 'em, and artillery. Oh, if we only 
had a couple of guns uj) here, we could sweep the 
whole line!" 

Mrs. Heatherwood bows her head in her hands, 
something like a groan forcing itself through her 
quivering lips. Ralph, gritting his teeth, springs to 
his feet and strives to find some point from which he, 
too, can penetrate the thick veil and see the fields 
beyond, and, even as they are clustering at the win- 
dows, there comes the sound of crunching gravel 
under horse's feet, the well-known sputter and crash, 
as, up through the bowered gate-way, on reeking 
steeds splashed with mud and mire, three horsemen 
come spurring along the worn old drive and out upon 
the once stately lawn of Heatherwood. The fore- 
most, in glazed cap and poncho, a powerful, bearded 
man, is evidently an officer of high rank. The be- 
draggled housing of his horse still shows the edging 
of gold and the gleam of silver star. 

"What do you see? Where do you see?" he de- 
mands, impetuously, of the soldier in the tree, and 
whips out his ovra field-glass. 


"Rebel cavalry, sir, and guns, right out here across 
the fields. You could rake 'em if you had a gun 

"Here, general, here!" cries another blue-coat, 
peering through the eastward hedge; "here you can 
see." And the stalwart officer spurs to the gap and 
takes one quick glance. 

"By the Lord, he's right ! Back with you, captain ! 
Ride like mad. Tell Pennington to get a gun up 
here if he has to double up half a dozen teams. Tell 
him there isn't an instant to lose." 

"God of Battles! It's Pleasonton!" cries Fairfax, 
springing to his feet. Then, his face blanching at 
the thought, "If guns are planted here they'll make 
this house the target for every piece in Stuart's 
column. For heaven's sake, lieutenant, tell your 
general there are defenceless women here. Tell him 
whose house this is." Then, as the officer seems to 
hesitate, mindful of his orders to hold his prisoner, 
the Virginian draws himself up and speaks proudly 
and deliberately. "Surely you have my word, sir. 
I shall take no advantage of your absence." 

It is humanity that is pleading. It is for the sake 
of helpless women for whom there can be no shelter 
from the crash of shell, the deadly spatter of case- 
shot, if once the rebel gunners open on that height. 
Down goes the Union officer, three stairs at a jump, 
and reaches the broad portico, where at the moment 
an orderly is with difficulty holding an eager, spirited 
horse, the young lieutenant's, and this fresh and 






beautiful mount lias caught the general's eye in an 
instant. '"Whose horse f he is repeating, as booted 
and spurred the young officer comes bounding from 
the hall. 

"Lieutenant Wardner's, sir. Here he comes now." 

"What is your regiment, and where is it, and who 

" — th Pennsylvania, general. Somewhere up 
around Frederick, I suppose. Colonel Belden," is 
the concise answer. 

"I know," cries the cavalry commander, his eyes 
aflame. "We passed their bivouac in the dim light, 
though they were too far from the road to be seen. 
Your horse is fresh, sir. Ours have come over eighty 
miles since yesterday morning. Mount, gallop every 
inch of the way till you meet Pennington's second 
section. Tell them to flog their horses every inch of 
the road till they reach us. Then go on till you find 
your colonel. Tell him everything depends on his 
supporting me at once, and to come at the gallop. 
Here's Stuart's whole force not two miles away, and 
I haven't two hundred men to meet him!" 

"I have a prisoner, sir, — Captain Fairfax, — and 
there are ladies here, — three, — who'll be in peril if 
artillery " 

"Never mind that. You'll have a thousand pris- 
oners if you get Belden here in time. l\o, sir. PU 
take all responsibility," answers the chief, impa- 
tient of expostulation or remark. "Mount instantly 
and ride. Yours is the only horse that's fit to gallop 


five miles. Go, sir, at once." And the general's 
mandate ends all further delay. Springing into 
saddle, the young officer rides straight for the leafy 
gate-way, then takes the gallop as he strikes the 
winding road. Aloft in the east room Ralph and 
Fairfax still remain at the windows, enthralled and 
eager. Tighlman covers his eyes and groans with im- 
patience and anxiety combined. Somewhere down 
along the towpath a cavalry trumpet is sounding a 
thrilling call, at sound of which there is quickening 
of the pace of some unseen column, and, followed by 
his single orderly, the general rides round to the 
southwest, through the old orchard, and out beyond 
its westernmost tree, where he can see the Monocacy 
and the roads beyond, and there, crawling south- 
ward, more than a mile away, comes a jaded little 
command with somewhere in its depths a section of 
light guns, lugged all this distance, and towards 
them, as though riding for life, a solitary courier is 
speeding. But Pleasonton knows the leaders of his 
column are closer at hand. That trumpet call is 
from the head of a squadron of the Eighth Illinois, 
escorting the foremost section of Pennington's guns, 
and the general spurs for a gap in the fence and finds 
his way down a cow-track towards the canal, catching 
the little column as it rounds the front of the heights 
under which stood Homans's camp only a few days 
gone by. The guns have disappeared, led by his aide 
back to the north so as to climb the winding but more 
gradual ascent from that side. "Send one troop for- 


ward on the Barnesville road!" he orders. "Take 
tlie route to Poolesville with the rest. Stuart's out 
there on the plateau somewhere. Seems to be head- 
ing straight for Poolesville." 

"And now, indeed, does it begin to look desperate 
for Stuart. South of him, at Poolesville, Stoneman 
has deployed his men, infantry and guns, to bar the 
way. Southwestward, towards Conrad's Ferry, are 
three regiments of infantry under General Ward. 
Westward, with several hundred soldiers of the 
Third and Fourth Maine to back him, Pleasonton is 
deploying his advance. Eastward the daring South- 
erners cannot turn, for there lie the deep river, 
Washington, and enemies by the thousands. Just 
one chance remains of squirming through without 
severe fight and having perhaps to lose his captured 
civil list and Pennsylvania horses. Three miles below 
the Monocacy and as many above Conrad's is White's 
Ford. Beyond that the bold heights of Loudoun 
County and perfect safety. Ward's men are still 
below it, Pleasonton's still above; but, should the 
head of Stuart's column turn that way, his purpose 
would be apparent in an instant. Stuart knows a 
trick worth two of that. 

Brushing out of Barnesville the few vedettes and 
outlying pickets that dare to hang on his advance, 
his foremost squadrons push boldly out towards 
Poolesville, Stoneman's scattered cavalry slipping 
aw^ay from their front with warrantable agility, and 
now at last they have reached a belt of the beautiful 


farming country, rolling and fertile, wooded here 
and there and traversed by winding roads and lanes, 
that lies in full view of the thrilled occupants of 
Heatherwood's eastward rooms and windows. 

"Yonder they go!" cries Fairfax, fairly ablaze 
with eagerness to join his comrades of the Virginia 
Horse. "See! See! Watch those fellows scooting 
away down that lane. Our men must be close behind 
them. Great God! they cannot see those heavy 
lines of infantry over beyond, and there's no way — 
no way — to warn them." 

Belle and Laura, trembling with excitement and 
clinging to each other, are both now leaning over 
the captive captain and striving with their unaided 
eyes to make out the objects he can only distinguish 
with the glass. Ralph, at the adjoining window, has 
less sweep of the land before them, and can only see 
the Poolesville lines. He, too, springs over to the 
now crowded casement, and soldiers, glancing up 
from the lavm, look at each other in no little won- 
derment. That gray uniform within their lines 
seems out of place somehow. But suddenly an ex- 
clamation from below calls every blue-coat to the 
hedge, and a shout goes up from Fairfax: 

"A charge! A charge! By all that's glorious! 
Look! Look! See them sweep that field! Good 
God! I cannot stand it — I cannot!" And springing 
away in uncontrollable excitement, he turns, throws 
his arms against the casement, and hides his face in 
them, quivering from head to foot. Only for an in^ 


stant thus he stands, Belle's soft eyes filled with that 
dangerous pity that is so akin to love, for the next 
thing there is a chorus of half-startled "Ah!'s" from 
the blue-jackets, a jet of white smoke shoots across 
the distant fields, and a few seconds later the window 
shakes and a sharp bang — the angry bark of field- 
piece — rends the air, and Fairfax springs with up- 
lifted, clinching fists. "Pelham!" he cries, exultant. 
Ralph, too, struggles to his feet, forgetful of his 
wounds, and yet turns, thoughtful for his mother, 
and finds her slowly sinking to her knees by Tighl- 
man's bed, just as a second shot, sharper and clearer 
than the first, rings on the autumn air. It is church 
time, and morning service has begun in earnest. 

Then, listen! From the north side now there 
comes the sound of violent motion, the thunder of 
hoofs, the rumble of wheels, the crash and sputter 
of gravel, the fierce cracking of whips and loud 
shouts of exultation and encouragement. "The 
guns! the guns!" cries Fairfax; "actually here. By 
heaven! It must not be." And, bare-headed, with 
his gray uniform hanging loosely about his enfeebled 
frame, the Virginian captain totters towards the door 
just as, drawn by panting, sweating, straining 
horses, six to the carriage, lashed and spurred to mad 
effort, there comes rushing through the bowered gate 
the foremost of Pennington's light guns, and, spurn- 
ing flower beds and flowering plants, around it swings 
on the grassy lawn; scattering mud and shattered 
plaster of Paris, it is whirled into battery, unlim- 



bered like a flash, and run by hand to the hedge. 
Furiously three or four cannoneers hack away at the 
bushes with their short curved swords. A gap is 
torn in the twinkling of an eye. The drivers spring 
from saddle and busy themselves about the harness 
of their teams, one and all looking just as though 
they had swam through miles of liquid mud. A 
dashing sergeant leaps from his horse, followed by 
several of his mounted gun detachment, tossing their 
reins to the horse holders, who quickly swing their 
half-dozen reeking chargers over to the side of the 
house, tearing huge rents in the once well-trimmed 
flower-beds. A tall, lanky cannoneer has gripped a 
sponge-staff and sent it whirling through the gap. A 
cartridge is rammed home, while a corporal casts his 
eye over the field a mile away and chisels a section 
of his paper fuse. A shell is sent home, and, with 
the rammer high above his head, the foremost can- 
noneer springs back from the muzzle. There is an 
instant grouping about the breech of the gun, — a 
group of grimy men in dirty blue. 

"They're going to fire!" screams Laura, stopping 
her ears with her fingers and rushing to bury her 
head in the pillows. There is a moment's squinting 
through the slit of the brass pendulum hausse, then, 
lifting the instrument from its socket, the gunner 
springs back, both arms uplifted in signal "all clear," 
and orders "Ready!" A stocky little fellow jumps 
in to the breech and drives the priming wire home in 
the vent. Another drops the friction primer in, and 


is back in a second at the end of his taut lanyard. 
"Fire!" rings the hoarse order, and with a resonant 
bang that shakes the house and shivers a parlor win- 
dow on the floor beneath, echoed bj shrieks, half 
stifled, from the girls, the saucy rifle bellows its chal- 
lenge to Pelham's guns nearly a mile out over the 
fields, and then, as they spring in to reload, the can- 
noneers look up in amaze, for a tall, hatless officer, 
in Confederate gray, leaps among them, with up- 
lifted, imploring hands. 


Foe a moment the members of the little detach- 
ment seemed stunned or stupefied. The sight of the 
Confederate uniform in their midst, of a soldier of 
evident rank and distinction, pallid from recent 
wounds and confinement, was in itself a thing to 
cause amaze, but that he should presume to inter- 
fere, — to speak to them in tones that, despite the 
appeal of his words, yet rang with the resonance of 
accustomed command, — was still another. The 
swarthy gunner at the trail was the first to recover 
himself, and his eyes flashed angrily. 

"Who in hell " began he, in the battle fury 

that had seized him, but the sergeant interposed. 

"This is my business, corporal. Out of the way, 
sir," he ordered, sternly, as he turned to Fairfax. 
"You're a prisoner, or you couldn't be here. Take 
charge of that man, some of you," he cried, to the 
open-mouthed troopers who were grouping about 
them. "Load, lively there ! Shave her half a second. 
Con. She bust ten yards beyond 'em." Then, as he 
straightened up in his mud-besplashed stirrups, his 
eyes dilating with fire, he swung his sabre towards 
the gap in the shrubbery and fairly yelled with joy. 
"Yonder comes a gun now. Look, Con ! They'll be 

in your line of fire in half a shake. See?" 


And leaping on the trail, the gunner peered 
tlirough the gap. Three or four cavalrymen had, 
half reluctantly, laid hands on the Virginia captain 
and, despite his earnest words of explanation, insisted 
on his falling back from the gun. Corporal Con 
threw up his hat with a yell of delight. "It's Pel- 
ham's," he cried. "They're heading for the knoll 
beyond. It's there they'll unlimber. Shall we give 
'em one now, sergeant?" 

"Aye, sock it to 'em, quick. Con!" was the answer, 
as the chief of piece reined his snorting horse back 
from the gun, and the cannoneers sprang out from 
the wheels. A groan burst from the lips of Fairfax, 
a wail of anguish from the window above, and some 
men, glancing an instant over their shoulders, beheld 
Miss Heatherwood leaning from the open casement, 
wringing her hands, a wild-eyed, black-haired girl 
clinging to her side. Then all eyes were riveted on 
the spirited scene out on the rolling slopes half a 
mile away. A light gun-carriage, followed by its 
prancing detachment, drawn by six spirited horses, 
whose gray-jacketed drivers sat jauntily in saddle, 
came lunging through a little lane, turned square at 
a gap in the snake fence that bounded the slopes of 
an open field, and, following a dashing leader, went 
plunging and swaying up the ascent. Pennington's 
war-worn gunners knew them at a glance. Some- 
thing in the dash and abandon with which they 
swimg through the gap stamped them at once. "Pel- 
ham's Own!" was the cry. "Let 'em have it. Con." 


The corporal, quivering with excitement, was astride 
of the trail, tapping gently its mud-stained side, 
while two stout cannoneers, panting and eager-eyed, 
gripped a handspike and swung the black muzzle 
into line. Squinting through the peep hole in the 
brass hausse. Con was spinning the elevating screw 
with one hand as he tapped the trail with the other, 
getting range and line at once, sighting square at the 
crest of the knoll. An instant more and the leaders 
of the distant gun came trotting up against the sky, 
then the "swing" team, then the wheel-horses, then 
one could almost hear the command, "Action rear!" 
as the team fairly settled back on their haunches and 
the following horsemen threw themselves out of sad- 
dle and scampered to the gun. 

"Now, Con!" cried the sergeant, and a stifled 
shriek went up from the window, and Fairfax wiped 
the sweat of agony from his brow and called aloud, — 

"Away from that window. Belle ! Kun to the cel- 
lar, quick! Away, I say!" he repeated, as the girls 
hung there, fascinated. 

"For God's sake let me go to them," he cried. "I 
am pledged not to escape." 

But the stern soldiers seemed deaf to his plea; 
seemed only alive to the scene at the gun. Again the 
corporal sprang back, both hands thrown high, again 
the order, "Ready!" again the lithe young battery- 
man leaped in, lanyard in hand, then the taut cord 
slipped through his fingers as he stretched away for 
the next word, "Fire!" and a jet of flame and smoke 


burst through the gap, the light gun leaped back a 
foot or two, the shot went shrieking away southeast- 
ward in long curve. A second or two of suspense, 
and then against the dull hues of the clouded horizon 
a puff of snowy smoke burst in front of the black ob- 
jects on the distant field, and in an instant they were 
hidden from sight. Only for an instant, though; 
the little cloud went drifting away, a cheer rang out 
on the Heatherwood lawn, for two horses were seen 
to be kicking and struggling on the turf beyond the 
opposing gun. Then as Pennington's men sprang 
in to reload, the cry went up, "Lay low! Look out, 
fellows! They're aiming." And here and there a 
blue-jacket, crouching, went scattering to right or 
left, and others flattened out on the sodden ground. 
Again Fairfax cried aloud, — 

"Leave that window. Belle, instantly! Down to 
the cellar, all of you!" But he might as well have 
ordered the dead. With dilated eyes the two girls 
hung there, gazing at the distant guns. Then 
Laura's voice, shrill and exultant, pierced the drip- 
ping air: 

"Yonder's another gun. O Glory! See it 
a-jumpin', coming right up by the first!" And she 
clapped her plump hands in mad delight. "Now, 
Mr. Yankee, look out for your hide," she cried. 
"Aw, why don't they fire? What are they waiting 
for?" She danced impatient, utterly blind to the 
peril in which she stood if Pelham opened. Again 
wondering at the unusual delay in the Virginian's 


answering bark, tlie cannoneers were driving home 
their charge, when, far over the fields, furiously 
waving his hat, a horseman was seen, riding straight 
for Pelham's foremost giin, whose detachment in 
wonderment had ceased their skilled loading, and 
with unwilling ears were listening to words and 
orders inaudible to all at Heatherwood. 

"Let 'em have it, Con!" again cried the sergeant. 
"We'll drive 'em off that ridge with another shot." 
And again was the gunner bending over the breech 
and the cannoneers ramming home, when loud, 
stern, authoritative, a soldierly voice rang out over 
the lawn, and, striding forth from the open door-way 
of Heatherwood, a tall, splendidly built officer in 
the uniform of a captain of cavalry, a man with 
flashing blue eyes and clear-cut face and blond mous- 
tache and imperial, came straight to the edge of the 
portico, and there halted and towered above them 

"Drop that lanyard, men ! You wouldn't fire from 
behind a petticoat. Can't you see those fellows will 
not answer because they know this house is full of 

At sound of the voice the sergeant had whirled in 
saddle and up went his hand in salute. The can- 
noneers turned in surprise. The lanyard slackened. 
One or two troopers who had thrown themselves 
under the hedge to dodge the expected shower of 
shrapnel squirmed out and gazed at the soldierly 
figure; but it was left to Captain Fairfax to exhibit 


strange and nnaceountable emotion. He sprang for- 
ward, despite the resistance of two sinewy hands, 
until he had cleared the little group of captors 
among whom he stood, then halted in his tracks. 
Three men threw themselves upon him and seized 
him in vigorous grasp, but he never seemed to notice. 
With pallid face and quivering lips, — lips that were 
turning almost livid, — he hung there, glaring at the 
form at the edge of the portico, and the rough grasp 
of the soldiers slackened, for they saw the beads of 
sweat still starting from his brow and that he was 
trembling from head to foot. Aloft at the northeast 
window, as though striving to see the cause of this 
sudden silence on the lawn, Miss Ileatherwood and 
her impatient cousin were leaning for^vard and 
gazing with all their eyes. But the strange officer 
stood where the projecting roof of the old-fashioned 
portico hid him from their sight. He had unslung 
a field-glass, and, applying it to his eyes, had con- 
cealed the upper portion of his fine face. He leaned 
against a heavy column, breathing hard as though 
he had ridden fast. His boots and breeches were 
daubed with mud, but the trim-fitting frock coat 
was innocent of a single splash. The polished scab- 
bard shone like newly minted silver. The sash, 
though carelessly knotted, was of costly crimson silk. 
Half of him looked as though he had ridden through 
miles of mud, the other half as though he were 
marching on parade. 

"Limber to the rear, then," ordered the sergeant, 


tliongli his eyes snapped angrily. "We could have 
knocked that gun off the ridge next shot, sir," he 
cried, regretfully, "and my orders was to do it, but 
the officer that gave 'em isn't here. Where'll we go, 
sir? There's no such spot as this within a mile." 

"Down the road to join your battery," was the 
brief answer. "They've gone already, heading for 
Poolesville," he added. "Tell your captain you 
drove 'em off with one shot." 

The horses were crunching round with dangling 
traces on the arc of a small circle as he spoke. The 
limber whirled about in front of the piece, its right 
wheel bumping, battery-fashion, over the iron trail- 
plate. The handspikes and sponge-staff were stowed 
away. "Halt! Limber up!" was the gunner's order, 
given in disgusted tone, and bitter disappointment 
brooded in the gaunt, war-worn faces as they glanced 
resentfully up at the windows. What business had 
women there anyhow, spoiling as square a fight as 
ever they had hoped for? 

"I had the range of them fellers," swore Corporal 
Con, as he climbed to saddle, "and could have blown 
me shell square into the thick o' them." 

"Dry up, Con!" was the sergeant's order. "Sure 
you wouldn't hit a man that couldn't hit back? 
Come on at the trot now." And down the winding 
road he led, his gun and gunners clattering after, 
just as afar out over the fields there came from the 
southeast a throb and sputter of distant musketry, 
and down on the invisible towpath southwest of the 


orchard a cavalry trumpet sounded, "Trot!" and 
then, "Bang! Bang!" in quick succession two 
booming reports told that Stuart's guns had opened 
on the Union lines, and that the renowned cavalier 
was making good his word and fighting his way 

Up at the window, still, Belle and Laura hung, 
athrill now with excitement and enthusiasm. What 
mattered it that Captain Fairfax had failed in his 
mission; — that another, and one in evident authority, 
had ordered off their unbidden visitors? What mat- 
tered it that Fairfax was there a prisoner, and Ralph 
and Tighlman invalided and paroled? They could 
see nothing of Fairfax now. His captors, eager to 
reach a spot whence they could peer through the 
hedge at the distant fighting lines, had turned him 
over to two of their number to be taken back to 
where the horses were picketed about the barn. The 
cavalry officer, too, had suddenly disappeared within 
the house and was seen no more. Ralph, gazing 
through his glasses, still studied the movements out 
on the distant fields, his features working strangely. 
It was after nine o'clock. J^ot a mouthful of break- 
fast had they touched, for who could tell what phase 
of battle the next minute might bring forth? Over 
by Tighlman's couch knelt the gentle mistress of the 
mansion, her lips still moving in fervent prayer. 
The powerful fascination that had drawn to the win- 
dows most of the occupants of Heatherwood, except 
the now terrified servants, had attracted most of the 


soldiery to tlie eastward gaps in the hedge, or to 
points in the westward orchard whence they could 
catch occasional glimpses of Stuart's men. Within 
the kitchen two of the Maine infantry kept reluctant 
guard. Chloe and her trembling liege were hiding 
in the cellar. Officers of every kind had disap- 
peared. Fairfax, under guard, found himself practi- 
cally alone. A shy country boy, whose corporal's 
chevrons were new as his face was smooth, seemed 
to know not what to do with his charge, and readily 
assented to the captive captain's proposition that they 
should go to the upper windows of Heatherwood, 
whence they could see the progress of the fight, and 
Fairfax was weak and dazed, and the corporal's 
heart was moved to pity. 

"You look sick," said he. "When did — when did 
you get captured?" 

"Only last night," was the reply. "This house is 
the home of relatives of mine whom I wished to see. 
I have given my parole. You need fear no attempt 
to escape, but if you are ordered to stand by me, 
come up there. Did you see — did you know that 
cavalry officer?" 

"Saw him, yes," said the soldier, awkwardly, lug- 
ging his rifle in one hand, as with the other he aided 
the weakened Virginian up the stairs, "but never saw 
him before. Those battery fellows knew him. I 
heard them calling him by name as they rode away." 

"You did?" demanded Fairfax, leaning on the 
balustrade and breathing hard as he clung to it for 


support. '"You did? And what name did they give 

"Captain Belden, they said ; — th Regulars — cav- 
alry," was the innocent reply, whereat Fairfax stared 
the harder, "gripped even tighter the balcony rail, 
and the corporal, fearful that his prisoner was col- 
lapsing on his hands, called loudly to a trooper in 
the hall-way to come and help him, — a trooper who 
w^as issuing from the door of a little room on the 
north side, and he glanced hurriedly upward. 

"I'll send help," he muttered, in a strange, smoth- 
ered tone, and hastened into the kitchen, but from 
the floor above came Mrs. Heatherwood and her 
daughter. Hurrying and with anxious questioning 
and troubled looks, they bore do\^Ti upon the oddly 
assorted pair. The soldier fell back at sight of them, 
glad of such relief. 

"What is it, my boy? What has happened?" was 
Mrs. Heatherwood's anxious question, as her arm 
was thrown about the shrinking form. "Help him, 
please," she added, turning to the young corporal, 
and, laying down his rifle, the latter almost lifted 
Fairfax to a sofa on the floor above. "Bring some 
wine, quickly. Belle," ordered Mrs. Heatherwood, as 
she knelt by the sufferer's side. "What is it, Floyd?" 
she murmured. "You've overtaxed your strength." 

"I did not dream how weak I was," he whispered, 
"or that I could behave like a woman, but," and now 
his eyes flitted eagerly about until he was assured 
that Belle had gone, "I saw Jack Lowndes lying 


dead by the roadside at First Bull Run, and could 
liave sworn it was he " 

"Hush, Floyd! Listen!" appealed Mrs. Heather- 
wood, laying her fingers on his lips, for Laura was 
screaming excitedly at the window, 'and Ralph's 
voice was adding to the clamor. Far out afield the 
firing was growing quick and fast, but what Ralph 
saw was something that thrilled him to the marrow. 

"Fairfax! Fairfax!" he cried; "come here, for 
God's sake, and tell me what it means. There's a 
squadron of Yankee cavalry right in the midst of 
Stuart's reserve, and it's coming this way." 

With a brimming glass of Madeira in her hand, 
Belle was hastening down the hall. Fairfax strug- 
gled to his feet, drained the glass, and staggered to 
the eastward window. Ralph handed him the bi- 
nocular, pointing excitedly through the gap that 
commanded the fields. Across one of the nearmost 
the gun detachment so recently at the hedge was 
now laboring with their heavy charge; across 
another, coming straight towards them, five hundred 
yards farther away, a compact little squadron in the 
Union blue was spurring at rapid trot, their sabres 
glinting at the "carry," a slender young officer well 
in the lead; and at this distant array Floyd Fairfax 
took one rapid glance through the glass and dropped 
it with a cry: 

'^Yankee cavalry? God of heaven, no! It's Gar- 
nett and the First Virginia!" 

And as though he heard the cry, and were ex- 


pecting it, a tall trooper, splendidly mounted, dashed 
the next instant around the corner of the house, 
spurred straight for the gap where lately stood the 
gun, swung high his forage-cap in air, as with mag- 
nificent bound his horse carried him through and 
over and careering on down the orchard slopes be- 
yond; and then over the fields rang a shout, power- 
ful, resonant, that sounded strangely familiar to the 
straining, startled ears at Heatherwood, and bore 
with it the same challenge and power of command 
as that which checked the fire of the gunners not ten 
minutes before: "Gallop, men! Gallop with that 
gun ! That's rebel cavalry coming ! Gallop and fol- 
low me!" 


Fob five minutes that followed Heatlierwood was 
the vortex of a storm of excitement such as the old 
mansion had never knoA\m in the past and was des- 
tined onlj once to know again. Swiftly spurring 
over the eastward fields, bending forward in their 
saddles in the eager pose all troopers know so well, — 
the crouch of the tiger before the spring, — the little 
squadron seemed making straight for Heatherwood, 
and had not yet come in view of the lone detachment 
of horse artillery down on lower ground, the single 
gun with its accompanying squad of cannoneers that 
had followed the winding drive into the ravine and 
was now jogging and jingling through the lane that 
led to the Potomac. 

Obedient to authority he dare not question, — the 
orders of a regular ofiicer, — the veteran sergeant was 
hastening by the shortest line to overtake his battery 
commander, who with another gun was at this mo- 
ment hacking his way through the fence of a sloping 
field to the southeast and striving to reach a low ridge 
beyond, whereon appeared the well-known form of 
General Pleasonton, with two of his staff and a brace 
of orderlies, most of whom were eagerly waving their 
hats and urging the young artillerist to full speed. 
A squadron of cavalry spurred wearily behind the 


gun, and a dozen men, dismounted, were lashing at 
the nearly exhausted horses or working at the wheels. 
Another squadron was pushing out on the Barnes^dlle 
road to the east, all ignorant of this swoop of hostile 
cavalry across the higher ground to the left. Ab- 
sorbed in the effort to fasten on the right flank of 
Stuart's force out in the open ground towards Pooles- 
ville, the commander of the pursuing cavalry seemed 
to think it impossible that any of the raiders should 
have ventured to dash at Heatherwood, now nearly 
a mile in his rear. 

Still farther out to the southeast a lone skirmish 
line, stretching from east to west, was faintly indi- 
cated by dim dots of horsemen beyond a fringe of 
woods. Stuart's advance, then, had met the expected 
resistance, and a squadron or two had been deployed 
to feel the way. It was on the ridge half a mile out 
in that direction that Pelham's guns had appeared 
long enough to draw the fire of Pennington's one 
rifle; then, forbidden by some old friend to fire at 
Pleatherwood, the Virginians had popped out of 
sight into the depression beyond. Doubtless they 
and their supporting cavalry could now be seen from 
where Pleasonton boldly rode on the bluff-like crest 
to the southward, but here at Heatherwood only by 
the sound of distant firing could anything be deter- 
mined of Stuart's movements. All around about the 
mansion was scurry and excitement. A knot of 
country folk on their way to church, frightened by 

the sound of battle and the sight of hurrying guns 



and cavalry, had climbed the steep slope at the south, 
the pathway Ilomans and Pettingill had known so 
well, and were gathered with the few lingering 
troopers about the hedge. The young officer com- 
manding the guard had disappeared, sent, like Ward- 
ner, on some errand by the urgent leader of the 
Union horse, whose own mounts were apparently ex- 
hausted. iVt sight of the coming squadron the ser- 
geant left in charge had looked eagerly about for aid, 
but the column descending the Monocacy was far 
beyond supporting distance and on a muddy road, 
and the infantry at the aqueduct and along the canal 
could not begin to reach the height as quickly as 
could the nimble cavalry. 

"Gallop to that Maine colonel down there at 
camp," he ordered a trooper, " and tell him that rebel 
cavalry is in sight not half a mile away, coming 
straight at us, and I've only a dozen men." Then, 
although he ordered his people to mount and await 
orders in the barn-yard, their eagerness to see what 
was going on prompted first one, then another, and 
finally the entire party, to come sputtering around 
to the front, completing the ruin, with the iron-shod 
hoofs, of the once trim pathways and flower-beds at 
the side, as well as the havOc of hoof and wheel upon 
the lawn, and here beneath the eastward windows, 
with half a dozen infantrymen detailed as the guard, 
the troopers clustered, some tossing their reins to 
comrades and climbing into the trees, others ner- 
vously unslinging their carbines and lining the east- 


ward hedge and gap, all impervious to Laura's iine 
scorn and fierce denunciation. 

At the windows, thrilled with excitement at the 
scene and sounds, the little household gathered, even 
Tighlman, now unrebuked, having limped from his 
bed and seated himself where he could peer over 
Heatherwood's shoulder. With them was Madam 
Heatherwood, her sweet, wan face pallid with 
an:xiety and distress. At the other window Fairfax 
knelt, his embarrassed guardian, rifle in hand, close 
behind him, while Belle and Laura, clinging to each 
other, gazed from the casement, the former trem- 
bling with dread, her beautiful eyes brimming with 
tears, the latter quivering with excitement, her black 
orbs fairly snapping with defiance and delight. And 
now, until it disappeared at a lumbering gallop down 
behind the shrubbery, all eyes were fixed on that 
imperilled gun and its shouting, urging guard and 
drivers, then on the swift advance of that daring lit- 
tle squadron, now not fifty yards beyond the brow of 
the westward slopes, along the foot of which that 
dashing trooper who leaped the gap a moment be- 
fore was now striving to guide the precious gun to 
safety. Who was he? Who is he? asked each cap- 
tive ofiicer, confident that form, face, and voice were 
all familiar. But no answer came from Belle or the 
trembling lips of her mother. 

"Look! look at Garnett!" was the cry, for now, 
even without the glasses, the waving plumes on the 
young leader's jaunty head could be plainly seen, 


and he at least was in the gray, though throughout 
the bounding rank almost every trooper rode in 
brand new blouse or jacket of the Union blue. Ten 
seconds more and they must reach the edge of the 
gentle slope, must surely see the gun. Although the 
range now is too great for accurate shooting, the 
soldiers at the hedge are in eager conference. Some 
are cocking their rifles and carbines. "Shall we lire, 
sergeant?" cries a trooper. 

'Tor God's sake, no!" sings out a nervous recruit, 
who, sitting in saddle, holds the horses of half a 
dozen men. "You'll bring the whole pack on us." 
A grin spreads over the pallid face of Fairfax. 

"That fellow has sense, at least," he mutters. A 
jeer bursts from Laura's lips, a groan from Mrs. 
Heatherwood, and then, an instant later, wild shouts 
of warning from the hedge, a cheer of exultation 
from the windows, a distant — a glorious burst of 
melody like that of the hounds in full cry, the pro- 
longed "Ch-a-a-a-rge" of the leader, a blast of the 
trumpet, and above all the thrilling chorus of 
trooper yells, as, never checking at the sight, the 
squadron commander comes in view of the quarry, 
and, swinging sabre over his head, in magnificent 
circling swoop down the grassy slope like darting 
falcon he heads the rush of his Virginians, and then 
the air rings with shot and clash of steel, and fierce 
oaths and imprecations and exultant cries. There is 
a popping chorus of pistols that accompanies a wild 
scurry of hoofs away and around the lower edge of 


the timber to the south, and Fairfax leaps to his feet 
and cries aloud: 

''By heaven! they've got the gun! They're 
driving 'em into the river!" 

Then there is another warning yell, from the 
hedge this time, as several of the troopers come tum- 
bling out, and running for their horses. A sergeant 
is shouting, ''Mount!" An infantry corporal, red in 
the face and raging with fight, begs him to order all 
of his men to occupy the timber and open fire on 
some troopers now drifting back from the chase after 
the gun. It is a moment of mad excitement, and no 
man there knows just what should be done. Then 
comes another shout, this time from the orchard. 
That settles it. "Lay low, fellers! Look out! The 
whole caboodle's coming back, and they'll be on you 
in a second!" To the very edge of the canal have the 
Virginians pursued the helpless gunners, to the very 
teeth of the infantry guards of the aqueduct, for now 
a fierce sputter of musketry opens at the foot of the 
westward slope, and the thunder of returning hoofs 
is heard, mingled with loud laugliter and derisive 
cheers and yells, and then, before the hampered 
troopers on the lawn can swing into saddle and form 
for action, a shot rings at the back of the house, 
another, and another, and up through the old or- 
chard come the nodding plumes and panting, strug- 
gling horses, and all the sergeant can find words to 
say is, "Come on out of this!" and away he goes 
through the bowered gate-way to the northeast, his 


fellows clattering after. There's no place there to 
wheel and fight. Thej are only a dozen all told, 
and Stuart's men seem popping out of every lane 
and hedgerow and shaded aisle. There's nothing 
else to do but dash out of the trap and gallop to the 
nearest supports, and there, not half a mile away, 
wearied, but gamely struggling on, comes Pleason- 
ton's main force along the Monocacy. The sergeant 
is wise in his generation. Thitherward he gallops 
with his pack, a dozen sabres swinging at their heels, 
and there are left only the infantry sentries and that 
lone corporal in the second story to receive with 
proper honors the mud-bespattered, but triumphant 
band of merrymakers who rein up in front of Heath- 
erwood, and the young cavalier at their head 
bows low over his reeking horse's mane, sweeps his 
plumed hat groundward in salutation to the ladies 
at the nearest window, and bids Miss Heatherwood 
a joyous good-morning. 

Fancy the scene as Heatherwood and Tighlman 
shout greeting to him from their casement, and 
Laura, springing down the stairs, four and six at a 
bound, fairly hurls herself upon the mud-besmeared 
lieutenant and ecstatically hugs him, all maidenly 
shame forgotten in the delirious joy of the occasion. 
But wary eyes have seen the dart of the infantry 
sentries for shelter. Grim, battle-worn troopers are 
watching at the orchard and at every gap. A veteran 
sergeant, binding a slashing sabre cut upon his 
bridle-hand with an old bandana, warns his young 
chief there is not a moment to spare. 


"How are you, Ralph? How are you, Brad?" 
laughs Garnett. "All ready, you fellows? Got a 
couple of tip-top horses here for you if you're ready 
to ride. Run you over to Virginia in less than an 
hour, but you'll have to be lively, boys. Come right 
along. Thought I'd find you here; and we've got 
that gun, too, all right. S'pose you saw Pelham 
wouldn't answer." 

And all this he has to shout, handsome, bare- 
headed, well-nigh breathless, while Laura, possessed 
of one hand, is dancing madly on the portico. Down 
about the canal the sputter of shots has died away as 
the troopers come scurrying back, but here and there 
far out over the muddy roads and lanes, bugle speaks 
to trumpet and rallying calls are sounding, and away 
to the southeast Pelham's guns are booming chal- 
lenge at Stoneman's still more distant lines. All 
around is throb and stir and sound of battle, yet here 
at Heatherwood, save where Laura dances in elfish 
triumph, there has fallen sudden silence and gloom. 
Heatherwood and Tighlman have disappeared from 
their window, so has Belle. Fairfax has not been 
seen since the moment of the Southern troopers' 
coming. With a word to his bewildered guard, who 
follows him as he would his own captain, he has left 
his window and stepped across the hall into another 
room. Astonished at this strange reception. Lieu- 
tenant Garnett looks one moment wonderingly at the 
now vacant windows, then, hearing his name called 


close at hand, turns and finds himself almost face to 
face with Madam Heatherwood. 

"My son, mj nephew thank you, Mr. Gamett, for 
your daring effort, but — they are my prisoners now. 
They are bound by their honor until exchanged," 
she says, with sad and gentle dignity. 

"But, Mrs. Heatherwood," he interrupts, impa- 
tiently, "no parole holds good in the event of a recap- 
ture." And as he speaks, standing there with un- 
covered head beside his drooping horse, away out 
over the southward fields the quick crackling of 
musketry redoubles, and Pelham's guns are barking 
savagely. The sergeant, bending in saddle, sweeps 
the gap with anxious eyes. 

"We haven't a minute to spare, sir," he mutters. 

"I know what you would say," is Mrs. Heather- 
wood's reply. "IsTeither of them is fit to ride, but 
neither of them should ride, even if he could, for the 
government at Washington has treated us with kind- 
ness we can never repay." 

"Mrs. Heatherwood," bursts in Garnett, impetu- 
ously, "we have counted on this recapture. It was to 
be my proud duty to bring in your boys from 
Heatherwood and Fairfax from Leesburg. Here 
come their horses now." 

"Floyd Fairfax!" exclaims Laura, eagerly. "Oh, 
do take him, quick! The Yankees call him a spy, 
and say they'll hang him. They got him here, but 
they didn't get his farmer clothes." 

Garnett's face grows yellow-white at the instant. 


"Floyd Fairfax here! You cannot mean it!" he 
cries, turning almost angrily upon her. 

"I do. They followed him here, — 'rested him 

"Where is he?" demands Garnett, springing up the 
steps, as the sergeant leaped from saddle as though 
to detain him. 

"Mount, lieutenant! Mount, for God's sake! 
They're driving us back. We'll be surrounded here 
in a second," he cries. 

And then Garnett halts with blazing eyes, for at 
the door-way — a soldier with carried rifle at his back 
— there stands Fairfax, pale as is the younger soldier 
whose hand goes up in salute, but the words he 
speaks are full of sternness, even suspicion. 

"Captain Fairfax, only night before last I offended 
a brother officer in defending your name, but I never 
thought to find you — here. You, of course, can 
come — will come with us." 

"I of course would come, sir, and if I live will 
come to answer any imputation, but go you must at 
once. I cannot; I have pledged my word." 

"Floyd — Floyd Fairfax! If you don't go you'll 
be hanged for a spy!" shrieks Laura Waddell. 

"Say to General Stuart," is the solemn answer, 
"that I pledged my word not to attempt to escape." 

And with the words there comes the sound of hur- 
rying hoof-beats through the yards, through the or- 
chard, up the roadway, and the sergeant fairly hurls 
himself upon his young leader, almost throws him 


into saddle, and then together they take the leap 
through the eastward gap in the hedgerow, only just 
in time to avoid the rush of half a score of Union 
troopers, two of whose horses drop exhausted, dead, 
at the doors of Heatherwood. 


One o'clock, and the guns have almost ceased 
their sullen thunder, for a wonderful thing has hap- 
pened. Despite Stoneman's opposing lines at the 
southeast about the fields of Poolesville; despite the 
hurriedly aligned regiments of Ward facing north- 
ward at Conrad's Ferry; despite the utmost efforts 
of Pleasonton's mud-covered and exhausted little 
command attacking from underneath the heights of 
Heatherwood ; despite the later coming of Belden's 
Pennsylvanians' on one road and swearing old Foul- 
weather with his gritty regulars on the other; de- 
spite the fact that Union batteries, battalions, and 
squadrons confront him north, east, and south, and 
a river rolls to his right on the west, Jeb Stuart, the 
redoubtable, has skilfully slipped through the 
meshes, and while "the incomparable" Pelham, with 
two of his guns, sends shot and shell at every ap- 
proaching column from the low heights at the east 
of White's Ford, the other two splash through the 
Potomac with the prisoners and plunder, and reap- 
pear in a twinkling on the wooded bluffs of the Vir- 
ginia shore, covering the ford so that, squadron by 
squadron, the jaunty invaders trot dripping back 
to Dixie, leaving their skirmish lines to show their 
teeth to the slowly enclosing ranks of the pursuers, 



until Pelliam limbers up and lashes his remaining 
light barkers through the flood, quickly to bellow 
new challenge from the Loudoun shore. Then away 
skip the rearmost skirmishers, and at two o'clock, 
on the very ground where stood the Southern guns 
the hour before, the commands of Ward, Pleasonton, 
and Stoneman come butting their heads together, 
asking each other how the devil this thing was pos- 
sible, and why the dickens this, that, or the other 
thing wasn't done by somebody else. It was all sim- 
ple enough when one came to study it out. Penning- 
ton's rifles got stalled in the sodden fields, and even 
"doubling up" teams didn't help them out. Pel- 
ham's guns had the pick of Pennsylvania horses to 
hitch in the moment a wheeler weakened. Pleason- 
ton's men had ridden night and day since four 
o'clock Saturday morning, and, not being used to 
such things, had only covered eighty miles, a dozen 
of them misdirected. Stuart's fellows, trotting night 
and day and never minding it, had ridden all around 
Pleasonton, and seemed to hugely enjoy the trip, 
for raiding and riding were things they took to as 
they did their daily bread, and got with greater regu- 
larity. Stuart had made Ward and Stoneman be- 
lieve he meant to push through to Edward's Ferry, 
below the big bend, so they w^ere hastening to block 
the goal towards which the gray skirmishers in ad- 
vance were so steadfastly pushing. Then, when 
Ward's regiments were all handsomely headed 
thither and well out of the way, the Virginia leader 


quickly slipped his main body along a sheltered wood 
road, screened by his skirmishers, straight westward 
to White's, and not until their guns unlimbered on 
the Loudoun side did he draw in the threatening- 
veil, leaving Ward and Stoneman to storm and 
swear, sole answer they could give at such long range 
to Pelhani's derisive barking on the westward 
heights. A prettier piece of skill and audacity even 
Stuart had not yet essayed. 

Then when the Union leaders came together and 
Ward pluekily demanded permission to push across, 
forgetful of Ball's Bluff, and attack the lion in his 
lair, he was wroth because Pleasonton would not 
lend his mired guns and worn-out cavalry, and 
Pleasonton declared that Stoneman should have cov- 
ered White's and thereby made escape for Stuart 
impossible, and Stoneman responded that what 
Pleasonton said was absurd. And so in such sweet 
accord they spent the Sunday afternoon, digging 
their guns out of the mire and damning each other 
for letting Stuart go. But what they thought and 
said wasn't a circumstance to what the Iron Secre- 
tary remarked in Washington, — he who had thun- 
dered, "ISTot a man of Stuart's command must be 
allowed to escape back to Virginia." And all this 
had the Southern leader risked and accomplished 
without the loss of one man killed. But these were 
the days before the leaders of the Army of the Po- 
tomac learned the use and need of cavalry; before 
Hooker had organized the fine divisions that with 


another year had clipped the plumes of Stuart and 
were destined, so soon after, to lay him low at Yel- 
low Tavern. 

One splendid piece of daring had shown like a 
rift in the clouds through the darkened skies of that 
hapless day, — Trooper Bell's magnificent attempt to 
save that isolated gun of Pennington's from the dash 
of the Southern squadron, and the heroic fight of the 
little detachment against four times their number. 
Thrashing the maddened gun horses with their 
sabres, they had urged them at the gallop to the nar- 
row towjDath, while with pistol and blade the devoted 
fellows fought furiously to beat off Gamett's yelling 
pack, and, aided by the fact that the road was narrow 
and hemmed by clifl^s on the right and thick shrub- 
bery on the left, they finally landed their precious 
charge safely under the muzzles of the aqueduct 
guards, but not without the loss of two gallant fel- 
lows, shot from their saddles by Virginia lead, and 
the severe hacking of Trooper Bell himself, who was 
turned over to the surgeons, hero of the day perhaps, 
yet battered for the time being beyond recognition. 

"Xo," said Foul weather, as he bent and gazed into 
the bandaged face of the sleeper in the improvised 
hospital tent, late that afternoon, ^'that isn't Bell of 
my command. If it was," he added, with savagely 
grinding teeth, "I'd kill him." 

But Bob Hamlin noted how daintily white Avas the 
hand that twitched outside the worn gray blanket, 
and let his wrathful leader remount without gainsay- 


ing his word. Foiihveather had that he mshed to sav 
to Belden of the brand-new PennsylvanianSj and 
rode oft' in hot haste to find him, while Bold Bob 
more leisurely examined the kit of the prostrate 
trooper, now sleeping under the influence of opiates. 
The boots settled the matter. 

"Take good care of that man, doctor," he whis- 
pered, as he pressed the weary surgeon's hand. 
"There's mettle in every bone of him." 

"Take care of him, of course," growled that 
overworked practitioner, "though you're not the first 
to bear witness to his worth, by a dozen." 

And so as the sun went westering behind his 
shroud of mist, and the rains came pelting down 
again, and Pleasonton's bedraggled column sought 
shelter under their dripping ponchos, and the wearied 
horses munched at the hay their masters bore from 
Heatherwood and the adjoining farms, the cavalry 
general rode off disconsolate to Point of Rocks, in 
search of army head-quarters, that he might report 
what they already knew, that Stuart was safe across 
the Potomac again and laughing at them from the 
Loudoun bluffs. And Stuart himself, finding that 
nobody proposed to come across in face of his barkers, 
ordered "limber up" and rode away to the nearest 
gap, plunder, prisoners, and all, to tell the marvel- 
lous tale of his wanderings to the applauding camps 
of Lee. 

With nightfall the Maine men rejoined their bri- 
gade, for Clark and his Xew Hampshire boys came 


dripping back to reclaim their camp, bearing half a 
dozen wounded and leaving two unshrouded dead. 
Clark could have said true if not temperate things 
about that morning's work, but he clamped his jaws 
and onlj looked black and stern when men inquired 
what he thought of the mess. Among his wounded, 
poor boy, was Reuben Pettingill, who, with the fore- 
most of Ward's skirmishers, got near enough to be 
shot through the leg by one of Stuart's outermost 
flankers. The first thing the colonel did was to see 
his men safe once more within his guarded streets 
and his wounded carefully attended to. Then came 
the straightening out of the accounts of the day, 
while the cooks prepared supper over the sputtering 
fires. And then, as the officers gathered about his 
tent, and other officers, hunting for lost commands, 
came in to crave and receive soldier hospitality, there 
came still others with rumors and reports, — rumors 
of what they termed a red-hot row between two regu- 
lars, Belden and Foulweather, at the camp of the 
Pennsylvanians, and then all of a sudden a swift 
courier from the camp of the regulars a mile up 
stream, a courier who bore a bundle and a note, 
which Clark examined in his tent, then called for 
his orderly and horses, and, bidding a guard follow 
him, took the winding road to Heatherwood. He 
found the lower floor swarming with stragglers, the 
riff-raff of every branch of the service, men and boys 
who swore they hadn't an idea where to look for 
their regiments, and so had invaded Pleatherwood's 


once sacred precincts until their regiments should 
look for them. These he sternly ordered forth into 
the ranks of the guard, bidding the latter search the 
barn and sheds, then made personal examination, 
finding every room, — parlor, drawing-room, dining- 
room, the sleeping-rooms on the lower floor, — all 
looted and littered, even to that little chamber, usu- 
ally kept locked, that opened off the rear hall-way 
close to the kitchen door. Finding no organized 
guardians, these armed banditti, foul birds of prey, 
worthless to their own colors, had skulked in hiding 
while better men were straining every nerve for the 
cause they served. With battle-lines forming under 
their very eyes, these wretches could only skulk and 
sneak and steal. Kitchen, cellar, and closet they had 
robbed and ransacked. Beautiful old colonial furni- 
ture and ornaments, things which they could not 
carry away, in sheer wantonness they had destroyed. 
Clark's flattened sabre came down with savage whack 
on the back of one burly ruffian snoring on the couch 
in the hall-way, an emptied wine-bottle still clutched 
in his hand. Short work the colonel made of the 
tough element sprawled about the house or swarming 
in the cellar. Full a score thus caught red-handed 
he sent under guard to the tents of the provost-mar- 
shal, a proceeding which Miss Waddell, from the 
landing at the head of the stairs, hailed with shrill 
approval and delight. That country boy corporal 
whom Wardner had left in charge, backed by one or 
two comrades whom he had called into service, was 



all that stood between Heatlierwood's second story 
and the throng of stragglers on the floor below, for 
the Virginia officers would have been powerless. 

"Well, I never thought I'd be glad to see a Yankee 
uniform so much in my life!" exclaimed Laura as 
tlie bearded colonel finally came wearily up the stairs 
to inquire for Madam Heatherwood. "She's better. 
She bears it better'n any of the rest of us, but Lawd 
sakes, it was enough to make me mid to see her go 
down and plead so gently with those thieves and 
scoundrels. Why, they were just smashing every- 
tliing. 'Course they stopped while she was there; 
the man don't live that could be rude to aunty. But 
the moment her back was turned they began again. 
Floyd Fairfax, he went down — he took off his uni- 
form — Aunty made him, — but he couldn't whip a 
hundred of 'em." 

"Floyd Fairfax! Yes," responded Clark, "and 
where is this Captain Fairfax?" 

"Oh, I forgot. He wasn't here when you were. 
He's — ^you know he's a sort of a cousin of ours — he's 
— he's a prisoner. He was caught. But," she added, 
with pouting lip and rush of vivid color, "General 
Stuart's officers recaptured him to-day, only he 
wouldn't go, wouldn't " 

"Pardon me, Miss Waddell," said the colonel; "I 
must see these gentlemen at once; and then will you 
announce me to Mrs. Heatherwood? Where shall 
I find the officers?" 

For answer the corporal at the landing motioned 


to his right, and, leaving the girl, the colonel fol- 
lowed his guide to the front room on the north side 
of the hall. The doors to the south were closed. A 
dim light was burning within. A tall officer in shirt 
sleeves, a man with haggard face, was nervously 
pacing the floor. Two others, spent and weary with 
the wild excitement of the day, were lying, one in 
bed, apparently exhausted, the other on the sofa on 
the northward side. Silently Clark entered the 
room, instinctively removing his black felt hat. 
Silently the tall Confederate halted and faced him. 
Silently Ralph Heatherwood rose and leaned heavily 
on a chair. Curious to hear what this officer of rank 
might have to say to the prisoner left in his charge, 
the boy corporal followed to the door- way, where he 
stood respectfully at the threshold, then again drew 
back as a tall lieutenant in the dress of the Union 
infantry came hastening after his commander. 

For a moment no word was spoken. The New 
Hampshire colonel, the Virginia captain, stood 
facing each other, two war-worn men whose years 
widely differed, yet whose days of active service must 
have been nearly equal. There was an expression in 
the calm, stern face of the !^^orthemer that seemed 
to stir resentfully the current of the Virginian's 
blood, for his dark cheek flushed and his eyes slowly 
began to glow, symptoms which Heatherwood was 
quick to see, for he came hastily, painfully for- 

"Colonel Clark," he said, "I feel sure you have 
received some impression or information concerning 


our kinsman, Captain Fairfax, that is imjnst to him. 
If YOU knew what he has refused to-day you could 
never suspect him of having come here as a spy." 

"Unless Captain Fairfax came here with Stuart's 
command this day he could never have reached 
ileatherwood except in disguise," was Clark's cold 
answer. "And it is my duty to say to Captain Fair- 
fax that an officer with suitable guard from my regi- 
ment will be here presently to conduct him to the 
quarters of the provost-marshal at Point of Rocks. 
Mr. llomans," he continued, turning to the door- 
way, "send my orderly for the adjutant." 

And then he himself stepped back a pace and 
bowed gravely and reverently, for, leaning on her 
daughter's arm, and followed by Laura, Madam 
Heatherwood, as they loved to call her, came slowly 
into the room. 

"The fortunes of war have gone heavily against 
poor old Heatherwood to-day, my friend," she said, 
a sad, sweet smile upon her patient face. "Surely 
it cannot be that any of my poor boys must be taken, 
away to-night." 

The tremulous appeal in her gentle voice, the 
rising tears in her fading eyes were more than Clark 
could bear. Quickly he pushed forward an easy- 
chair, and now, with Miss Ileatherwood assisting, 
seated her and found a footstool for her feet before 
he could trust himself to reply. 

"You do not know how I deplore the havoc these 
skulkers have played, dear lady," he said at length. 
"A dozen of them are now under guard, and it shall 


go hard with thorn, for it mil anger your friends 
at court to know that in all the confusion of this day 
your home has been desecrated and you and those 
you love have been put to distress." 

"But — Caj^tain Fairfax?" she interposed, appeal- 
ingly. What was the desolation over which poor 
Mammy Chloe was wailing now below to that which 
might prevail at Leesburg if ill were to befall the 
gallant boy in whom so many hearts were centred? 

"For Captain Fairfax, I regret to say, the govern- 
ment entertains views far different to those which 
concern your son and nephew. They were brought 
here wounded and helpless, sent to you in return for 
all the loving care you gave our wounded after Bull 
Kun and Ball's Bluff. Captain Fairfax," — and here 
his deep-set eyes turned full on the accused officer, 
who, folding his arms, stood erect, his head thrown 
haughtily back, — "Captain Fairfax, whose absence 
from his regiment is in itself a matter " 

"A matter between Captain Fairfax and his regi- 
ment only, sir," sternly interrupted the Virginian. 

"Whose absence from his regiment is in itself a 
matter that involves him in suspicion," calmly con- 
tinued the colonel. "He is known to have reached 
Poolesville and to have lurked there in disguise, and 
he could have come here when he did only in 

"And didn't your cavalry fellas last night hunt 
high and low through this house," burst in Miss 
Waddell, her black eyes snapping, "swearing Floyd 
Fairfax came dressed like a farmer, as if a Fairfax 


would dress like a farmer anyliow, and never a 
stitch of such a thing could they find, 'cept some 
rags belonging to old Uncle Joe in the cellar?" 

"Laura, child, you must not interfere," said Mrs. 
Heatherwood, reprovingly. "Yet what she says is 
true, colonel," she continued, turning again to the 
stalwart Xew-Engiander, while the sound of heavy 
footsteps could be heard coming hurriedly up the 
stairs, and silence fell on the group in the room, and 
all eyes were turned to the door-way, where presently 
there appeared another officer, two or three soldiers 
in dripping overcoats at his back. The rain pattering 
on Heatherwood's roof was for another moment the 
only sound. Then once again, in wistful appeal, the 
gentle lady's eyes turned to Colonel Clark. Words 
were unnecessary. He read the question in her 
anxious face. 

"It would be useless to attempt to deceive you, 
Mrs. Heatherwood," he said, so simply and sadly. 
"Some one has tried hard to shield your unfortunate 
kinsman by niaking way with the disguise in which 
Captain Fairfax reached this house," and here Belle 
Heatherwood's white face was lifted in terror from 
her mother's lap, and, kneeling, she gazed speechless 
into the colonel's face. "But he had not time to ex- 
amine the pockets before he flung it into the Mono- 
cacy. This memorandum book— these papers — were 
found within the bundle not two hours ago." 

And then the white face of the girl dropped, inert, 
sightless, and the pliant, drooping form slid suddenly 
in dead faint to the floor. 


A FORTNIGHT longer, despite impatient proddings 
from Washington, McClellan clung to the Maryland 
shore, and allowed his plucky adversary to regain 
strength and "second wind" across the Potomac. 
Finer marching weather he could not ask for, but 
shoes for man and beast he could and did. The 
army could not move without them. Observant 
statesmen suggested that Johnny Reb seemed to 
skip about the country hatless, shoeless, and often 
breadless, fighting like the very devil with nothing 
but pluck and parched corn in his wrinkled stomach. 
Suggestive statesmen observed that perhaps the 
Northern lads might try a little of Johnny's dress 
and diet with better results. AVhereat McClellan 
smiled placidly and said that all military authorities 
agreed that armies moved upon their bellies, and he 
would be no violator of precedent. The careworn, 
patient leader of all, scanning the situation from the 
White House, whimsically remarked that he could 
stand a few cases of such violation of all military pre- 
cedent as the tactics of Stuart and Stonewall Jack- 
son were declared to be by the little chieftain at the 
head of the Army of the Potomac. But neither 
smiles nor sarcasm could prevail against book-rooted 

theories so long as a man remained without a hat or a 



mule without a shoe. I^ot until the fag-end of Octo- 
ber did the pontoons span the river opposite the 
Catoctin valley, and the long blue columns began 
the crossing that was to lead them on to the useless 
sacrifice of Fredericksburg, the snarl and disaster of 
Chancellorsville. And ere they passed away from 
under the shadows of the rock-bound heights new 
sorrows had come to the gentle mistress of Heather- 
wood, new calamities upon her household. Con- 
vened at Point of Rocks, a military commission sat 
in judgment on Captain Floyd Fairfax, C.S.A., de- 
clared to have been caught as a spy within the Union 
lines. Transferred to Washington as convalescent, 
Ralph Ileatherwood and Bradley Tighlman were 
impatiently awaiting their exchange and wondering 
why, when Southern prisons were teeming with 
Union officers, there should be this delay. Worn 
with the strain of excitement, anxiety, and distress, 
Belle Heatherwood had broken down and was lying 
very ill at the old homestead, nursed by her devoted 
mother, who, even in all her own cares and physical 
weakness, had found time to spend an hour, at least, 
each day in the neighboring field-hospital that Stuart 
left well provided with patients, and there had she 
discovered Trooper Bell, there had Laura pounced 
on Pettingill. 

ISTovember 1st had come, and all day long the 
blue columns had been trudging away through Lou- 
doun County, and only the guards along the aque- 
duct, the now partially restored canal, and the field- 


hospital remained about Heatherwood to remind 
Miss Waddell of the bustling days of September. 
The bees had long since ceased to hum in the or- 
chard. The trees were bare. There was a whiff as of 
snow in the frosty wind, and winter had come down 
early on the blue Virginia mountains. All the same, 
with a shawl thrown over her head, her black eyes 
snapping and her cheeks aglow, Miss Waddell found 
her health required frequent exercise at the old tryst, 
and thither, day after day, a long, lank hero would 
hobble on crutches up the heights and plead in the 
unmelodious patois of the Connecticut Valley for a 
promise Miss Waddell scorned to give, but would 
have hated him had he ceased to importune. Reuben 
Pettingill, commended in orders and personally con- 
gratulated by Colonel Clark for intrepid conduct in 
face of the enemy, decorated now with the chevrons 
of a corporal and deluged with letters from home, 
was after all only a lion in a snare, bewitched by the 
black eyes of his buxom sweetheart. For five days 
she had toyed with and tormented him, and now the 
spirit of the Puritan rose in his breast, and he'd have 
no more of it. In the inner pocket of his blue coat 
he bore that day a trump card he had determined to 
play for all it was worth, but not until he had recon- 
noitred the ground. Ordinarily he made his way up 
the path by which Pleasonton had disappeared the 
day Stuart's squadrons went dancing by. But on this 
sunshiny, ISTovember morning, rejoicing in returning 
health and strength and in the keen, exhilarating air, 


he straddled with his crutches the narrow foot-track 
leading from the spring at the westward base of the 
Heatherwood height and winding through the leafy 
woods to the rear of the barn. There to his left as he 
climbed he could see the familiar cone of Sugar Loaf, 
the signal-flags waving at the summit, their more 
languid sweep a marked contrast to the frantic haste 
with which they swung the morning he and his New 
Hampshire fellows were double-quicking into line 
away down there by Harrison's Island and shouting 
with joy when the word was passed that now Jeb 
Stuart would find himself confronted by fellows he 
couldn't sweep aside. He wondered what they were 
signalling about to-day, and what there was going on 
that should keep the flags at Maryland Heights and 
above Point of Rocks and here at Sugar Loaf all 
swinging away for dear life. He wondered whether 
there could be any more of that looking-glass foolish- 
ness from the dormer-windows of Heatherwood. 
Hard times had come to the kindly household, cer- 
tainly, and all through that absurd experiment that 
Laura so vehemently declared now was only just for 
fun and "to fool you Yankees," but that at the time 
she devoutly believed was to compass the overthrow 
of the J^orthern arms. Things were going worse 
still with that Virginia captain, Fairfax, Pettingill 
had heard. The evidence was all dead against him. 
A real signal-code, though a crude one, had been 
found in the pockets of the suit of farmer clothing 
he was proved to have worn at Poolesville and that 


was fished out of the Monocacy by some of that old 
Swearweather's squadron — what awful curse-words 
that fellow could use, to be sure! — the very night 
he, Reuben Pettingill, was landed in hospital with a 
hole through his leg. That was a dreadful find for 
Fairfax; but for it his neck might have been saved; 
and somebody had tried hard to save it, as it was, for 
even Laura could not deny that those clothes had 
been actually within the walls of Heathenvood. It 
was a dreadful find for kind Madam Heatherwood, 
too, for ever since it seemed as though the Washing- 
ton folk had denied her, and Reuben had heard Colo- 
nel Clark mournfully say that when Secretary Stan- 
ton once got an idea that people were tricking him 
or tricking the government, God Almighty couldn't 
make him change his mind. That was why they had 
taken her son off to Old Capitol Prison or some such 
place; that was why the provost-marshal had paid 
her that solemn visit only a few days ago, the second 
day he and Laura were sitting together out in the 
orchard, and Laura said they wanted information 
about some officer — some staff-officer who wasn't in 
the army at all; at least, Lieutenant Homans said 
he was personating an officer who, as it turned out, 
was nowhere near Heatherwood at the time, a 
splendid-looking fellow he was, — they had all seen 
him, — and here at Heatherwood the family must 
know him. Reuben stopped to breathe and rest 
awhile as he reached the fence at the back of the 
barn-yard and sat him down and looked back over the 


broad valley, hemmed in at the west by those grand 
ranges. Away to the north the isolated peak of Sugar 
Loaf rose against the sky, its verdure gone, its rocky 
sides tinged with crimson and brown. Away beyond 
it, west of north, the sunlight glinting on distant 
spire and whitened wall told where Frederick lay, — 
Frederick, to whose jail they had ordered transferred 
the prisoner whose earthly home snuggled there to 
the south among the copper-colored slopes and heights 
only as far away one side as lay Frederick on the 
other, yet so far that Floyd Fairfax might never look 
upon it again, for, despite the fact that there was 
still one witness to examine, the finding could only 
be guilty, the sentence could only be death, and in 
the present temper of the Iron Secretary what hope 
for mercy could there be? 

And yet, he mused, there was that queer, silent 
fellow they called Bell, that regular that did such 
magnificent work saving the guns on the day of 
Stuart's raid, the fellow for whose evidence the 
court was waiting. Talk about his, Pettingill's, 
"intrepidity" because he kept going forward at a 
hot run firing at those skip-acks of Johnnies in 
saddle until one of them drove a hole in him, — talk 
about that being intrepid, — why this fellow Bell had 
fought like a fiend, hand to hand, hilt to hilt, with 
more'n a dozen of 'em, and got hacked and hewed 
and battered until he lay like a man with a split skull 
for nearly a week, and he was to be made sergeant as 
soon as he was able to rejoin; and his commander, 


Lieutenant Hamlin, liad come and sat by him when 
he grew conscious again, and so had Captain Mcin- 
tosh and other shanghai regulars, and the surgeon had 
let out that here was a man that could have a commis- 
sion any day; and if any man ought to be proud and 
happy it certainly should be Bell, yet no sooner was 
that fellow able to be up and moving than he be- 
came queer. He damned the attendant for a fool 
when he heard him say Captain Fairfax was a spy 
who was sure to be hanged, and flew into a regular 
tantrum about it. Then, when they told him it was 
true that Fairfax was being tried by a court, and that 
he, Bell, was going to be called as a witness, and that 
the clothes that Fairfax had worn and the note-book 
and other things were found. Bell just suddenly col- 
lapsed. That night he was missing from hospital, 
and the next day, too, until they found him, raving 
drunk, wandering about Heatherwood and crying 
like a baby. He was back in the doctor's hands now 
mad as a hatter, and Madam Heatherwood had im- 
plored the doctor to let him be moved to a room 
in her house, and the doctor had had to refuse. 
Laura knew something about that fellow, said Pet- 
tingill, smiting his thigh, then starting in pain with 
a yelp of "Mighty Man!" that Laura herself might 
have heard even at this distance had Laura not been 

"Weary of waiting for her Yankee adorer, impa- 
tient of his coming, the girl was resorting to her old 
time method of telling him so, and, Lilly Dale having 


been buried, she had resurrected another heroine of 
school-girl romance, and high and shrill rose her 
voice over the withering hedge and floated back to 
where her lover sat beyond the barn, and he mounted 
his crutches and heaved himself up to listen. 

" Thou ahtgone, a-las ! gentle Annie-e-e-, 
Like all flowah thy spirit did depaht ; 
Thou aht gone, a-las ! like the man-eee-e 

That have bloomed in the summuh of ma haht. 

(Louder) Shall we nevah mo' behold thee ? — 

Nevah hee-ah thy winning voice again-n-n 
"When the spring time comes, gentle Annie-ee-e, 
When the wild flowahs blossom o'ah th' plain?" 

Corporal Pettingill came seven league booting it 
through the barn-yard, and was near the hedge and 
stirring up old Dobbin as the girl reached the end 
of the first verse of her rural lay. Then he ducked 
to avoid observation and to listen to any observation 
she might let fall. 

"Ah wish that fella'd be here when he said he 
would," pouted Miss AVaddell, instinctively substi- 
tuting broad a for i, as she generally did when vexed, 
and eliding her r's as she did at any time. "Ah'd 
pay him off good 'f theli was only 'nuthuh fella wuth 
note'sin 'round. All the nice ones have gone." 
Then she stopped to listen. The heavy, languorous 
days of early fall had disappeared. November had 
come in wintry and gusty. There was silence as of 
the grave about Heatherwood, broken only by the 
voice of the sentry and the few guards chatting on 


the eastward lawn, for a new guard there was and not 
too kind a one, and its commander slept in the parlor 
on the ground floor. Madam Heatherwood and her 
household, despite her many kindnesses, were objects 
of suspicion. A general ofiicer left with the Twelfth 
Corj)s to guard the line of the Potomac had been 
ordered to keep an eye wide open and to permit no 
more nonsense there. 

The first apostrophe to gentle Annie having failed 
to lure her crippled hero to her feet. Miss Waddell 
tried a second, to which the members of the guard in 
front seemed to lend appreciative ear, as, indeed, 
they had bestowed upon the singer appreciative 
glances. It was possibly in recognition of the fas- 
cination of this rural beauty that the general com- 
manding had ordered that the guard should be 
changed every day. They were a rusty-looking lot, 
the five boys in blue, chatting there on the bluff, and 
Miss Waddell would have naught to do with them 
beyond assuring herself that her presence and song 
had received due recognition. And still Reuben the 
Faithful lurked in his lair and refused to be called 
forth. It was getting late and Laura weary. Belle 
Brandon was another damsel whose demise w^as much 
lamented in the lyrics of the day, and Laura tried a 
line or two of that young lady's life history: — 

" Belle Brandon was a birdlinj of the mountain, 
In freedom she spohted o'ah the lea ; 
And they said that the blood of the red man 
Tinged her veins from a fah distant sea." 


And this far-fetclied statement, or the sight of the 
corporal of the guard peeping through the trellis, 
proved too much for Pettingill. He broke cover 
forthwith and came stilting it into the orchard. 

"Guess you thought I never was coming," said he, 

"Guess Ah wouldn't 'a' cared if you'd nevuh 
come," was the mendaciously pert reply. 

"Well," said Reuben, bluntly, "that's real good. 
I didn't know but you might feel bad after all — if I 
went away." 

"Huh!" said Miss Waddell, in deep disdain. "N"© 
danger you'h goin'! You couldn't march or fight." 

Mr. Pettingill had seated himself on the rustic 
bench close to which his inamorata was standing 
when his sudden appearance surprised her. He 
carefully placed the crutches to his right side and 
then invitingly patted the wooden slab at his left. 

"Ain't you going to sit?" he asked. 

"It's too late," said Miss Waddell, pouting. "I've 
got other matters — impo'tant matters — to attend to." 
And the toss of the head was fine to see, so was the 
side glance at the supervising corj>oral at the old 
garden gate. 

"I admire to know," said Reuben, simply, then 
reached for his crutches. "Well, if you have to go, 
so must I. Doctor says he wants me to get all the 
exercise possible without tiring myself. I'll be 
taking a longer walk later, likely enough," and he 
slowly adjusted his crutches as he spoke and began 
lifting himself from his seat. 


"I didn't tell you to go," said Miss Waddell. "But 
you can't see aunty now even if you do go to the 

"Sure," said Reuben, placidly. "I know she's like 
to be busy, but I don't want to go away without 
thanking her for all her goodness to me. She's an 
angel, she is." 

"Well, you needn't be in a hurry," said Miss "Wad- 
dell, not without an anxious glance, however. ''You 
won't have to follow the regiment for weeks yet, and 
they'll be retreating back here before you can get 

" 'Tisn't that," said Reuben, sweetly. "You see 
they're powerful anxious to have me come home a 
spell, — mother and the girls." And here he slowly 
produced the all-important paper from the breast of 
his coat. "They've sent me this from Washington. 
The doctor thought I might start to-morrow just as 
well as not." 

"'Tain't well as not!" flashed Miss Waddell, 
taking genuine alarm at once. "You know you're 
a good deal too weak and sick to ride so far— alone." 

"That's it," continued Reuben, thoughtfully, rub- 
bing his chin. "Sis and two of the girls were coming- 
down as far as Albany or Springfield to meet me — 
perhaps to York. They've never seen the Hudson, 
you know, and we could all go up to Albany together 
and home that way." 

"Well, I just bet you now you don't go, Reuben 
Pettingill," flamed Miss Waddell, "not until you're 


a mighty sight stronger." Then, swift to assume the 
appealing, now that other means had failed: "Least 
not if you ca-yuh for what I care." And Miss Wad- 
dell's fingers were hopelessly tangled in the cord of 
her cloak. Her cheeks were flushing, her bosom 
tossing like a troubled sea, and her downcast eyes 
were full of reproach, and all the time he had the 
hardihood to stand there actually trembling with 
hope, yet unrelenting. 

"It's a chance any fellow would give months of 
his pay to get," said he, reflectively. 

"Then go to your — your girls!" exclaimed Miss 
Waddell, with prodigious flounce, as she whirled in- 
dignantly about. "And— and don't bother us any 
more." But big tears were starting in her great black 
eyes as she spoke, and Reuben found his heart ham- 
mering glory hallelujah! almost as though the New 
Engknd men had sung it. 

"You — never told me there — were any girls," said 
Miss Waddell, disheartened at his silence. 

"I didn't suppose you cared," he answered, hum- 


"I didn't!" this with prompt indignation. "Only 
— I know you meant to be mean, and— and hide it." 

"I swow to gosh!"averred Mr. Pettingill, whose 
mild blue eyes were twinkling with delight at his 
success, "I didn't even s'pose they'd interest you. 
Sis has only two, — eight and ten." And then he 
hopped two paces nearer, in one spoke-like, semi- 


revolution of his crutches, only in time to meet her 
fire-flashing eyes and a burst of wrath. 

"You've — you've just been fooling me!" she 
cried. But further words were stopped, for there 
came a sound that caused their sudden pause, the 
sound of crunching hoofs by the score, of clanging 
scabbards and jingling spur, the sound of the stern 
command, "Left into line!" and a platoon of cavalry 
had suddenly occupied the space in front of the old 
mansion. Two officers, dismounting, were already 
at the door, and one of them, short, swarthy, strad- 
dle-legged, — the girl knew him instantly before she 
heard his voice, — was already under the colonnade 
and at the door. Foulweather, for all the world! 
Foulweather, whose brow was black as thunder. 

"Say to the mistress of this place," they heard him 
boom to some unseen servant or orderly, "that I pur- 
pose searching it from garret to cellar at once for the 
person of the arch rebel and spy, Fairfax, who es- 
caped the guard this morning." 

"Glory! Glory! Glory!" screamed Miss Wad- 
dell, clapping her hands and dancing in uncontrolla- 
ble delight. "Glory! Glory! Glory! That's the 
last chance the Yankees vnW ever have to hang /lim, 


Xo wonder the signal-flags were waving. Xo won- 
der there was wrath in the breast of Foulweather, 
stanchest of loyalists. Xo wonder there was con- 
sternation in the camp at Point of Rocks, for treason 
was Inrking in their midst. A state prisoner, a brave, 
reckless Virginian, captured within the lines, and 
proved to have ventured thither in disguise, ar- 
raigned before the commission ordered, swift and 
sudden, for his trial, with further orders that an irate 
War Secretary had given to lose no time in formali- 
ties, a prisoner whose case was seen to be hopeless 
from the very start, despite the fact of one missing 
link in the chain of evidence against him, had been 
spirited away from the thick of the guard, and had 
goue no man knew whither. "One thing was cer- 
tain," said the chagrined officials charged with his 
safe-keeping, "there must have been collusion on the 
part of the sentries, collusion that doubtless involved 
non-commissioned officers and possibly commissioned 
officers, for without the aid of the guard no living- 
being could possibly pass their lines." 

And why should there not have been collusion, 

all things considered? Captain Floyd Fairfax was a 

member of a proud and once wealthy family whose 

home was near Leesburg barely a dozen miles away. 



He had devoted friends and relations at Poolesville 
and Heatherwood and Frederick, many of whom had 
visited the camp and vainly besought an interview. 
Acting under orders from Secretary Stanton, the 
commanding officer sternly refused. Even the 
gentle, sorrowing face of Madam Heatherwood had 
failed to overcome, though it could not fail to move 
him. He, too, knew her story, and was gentleness 
and courtesy itself, but sadly he told her his orders 
were imperative. jS^o wonder the prisoner's Southern 
relatives could be permitted speech with him only 
on the written order of the War Department. Even 
that brief interview nearly cost the Union major his 
commission. Secret service detectives, eager for re- 
ward, commendation, promotion at the hands of the 
Iron Secretary, reported that the officer had had a 
long, confidential, and almost tearful interview with 
the mistress of Heatherwood, and in twenty-four 
hours flashed the order from Washington relieving 
him from duty and directing the detail of new 
guards from Clark's jSTew Hampshire regiment, with 
Colonel Clark himself placed in charge. There at 
least, said Washington, was a man whose character 
was above suspicion, and nothing could have ex- 
ceeded the care with which Clark stationed and in- 
structed his men. Vigilance personified were the 
officers and non-commissioned officers, for there came 
hints to the effect that the friends of Fairfax both in 
Maryland and Virginia would make concerted effort 
to effect his rescue and release, and the guard was 


none too large, covering as it had to do all the space 
stretching along the canal from the east of Harper's 
Ferry away down almost to the mouth of Seneca 
Creek. Of infantry there was only one brigade 
watching the fords, bridges, and roads and guarding 
the canal. Clark and the main body of his JSTew 
Hampshire regiment had been detained at Point of 
liocks. Belden's Pennsylvania squadrons were scat- 
tered along the Potomac from the now abandoned 
head-quarters of the army at the mouth of Pleasant 
Valley away up to where Stuart crossed at McCoy's 
Ferry, and, to his bitter wrath at first, old Foul- 
weather was held with two of his squadrons at the 
rear of the long column instead of being at their 
front where longed his soul to be. There was this 
compensation: here in Maryland he was his own 
commanding officer; there at the front he would 
have to serve under Bayard, Pleasonton, and other 
cavalrymen he had known in the old days, and he 
hated to serve under any of them. There was this 
embarrassment, too, not to Foulweather, but to his 
superiors : it left him and Belden together, or nearly 
together, on the north bank of the Potomac, and 
everybody knew by this time that the bad blood be- 
tween them had thickened; that Foulweather had 
called at Belden's camp and said unwarrantable 
things, and that Belden, disdaining either to draw 
sword upon him or make the matter official by pre- 
ferring charges, had simply ordered a file of the 
guard to escort the raging old regular outside of his 


lines, and, though foaming with wrath, Foiilweather 
had sense enough left to know that the colonel of 
volunteers had the upper hand, 

"If those two meet on neutral ground," said the 
men at McClellan's head-quarters, "it will be a fight," 
and good old John Buford, it was known, looked 
with keen anxiety to the result. Belden's orders 
were to scout and cover from the mouth of the Ca- 
toctin to the west. Foul weather's jurisdiction, under 
the orders of the general commanding the division, 
were to control the north bank of the Potomac from 
the Catoctin to Conrad's Ferry, with authority to 
cross to the Virginia side should occasion require. 
And this made possible a meeting in the Catoctin 
Valley, and there came a day when that meeting 
was inevitable. 

The court was taking a recess pending the produc- 
tion of a material witness for the prosecution. Foul- 
weather had at last learned that the battered patient 
in the field-hospital at Heatherwood was really 
Trooper Bell, but his sanguinary intentions were 
modified when he learned from Mcintosh that Bell 
had accompanied him as guide only with evident 
reluctance, and had managed to ride away ostensibly 
to find his own command early that eventful night 
when they were scouting for Stuart. All the same, 
he meant to bring that "cocky" young swell to a 
strict accounting just so soon as he should be de- 
clared convalescent by the surgeon. It was all very 
well that Pennington and others should praise his 


gallantry and devotion the day of the fight. "Who 
wouldn't fight under such circumstances? But as to 
promotion or reward, Trooper Bell would have to 
explain some very suspicious things before he, Foul- 
weather, would consent to such advancement. What 
business had Bell to get on a tear the moment he 
began to recover, and at the time his evidence might 
be of vital importance before that court. Xo man 
on earth, said Foul weather, knew more about that 
duplicate Captain Belden than did Trooper Bell, and 
no man in the Union army, probably, could tell more 
about the inner workings of Heatherwood, the move- 
ments of Fairfax, than that same trooper. As to the 
fatal bundle of farmer clothing dropped in the Mo- 
nocacy, Foulweather was ready to bet his last dollar 
that Bell knew all about it and could be forced to 
tell. With feverish eagerness he had imparted all 
his suspicions to the court, and with eagerness as 
fierce he awaited Bell's restoration. 

But here there came disappointment. The doc- 
tors declared that while Bell's wounds and injuries 
were rapidly healing, his mental condition was a 
cause of deep anxiety and perplexity. He seemed 
rapidly regaining bodily strength, but was clearly 
out of his head. "He's shamming," said Foul- 
weather, when he rode over and insisted on seeing 
for himself. "He may be," said the doctor, "but it's 
the best piece of acting I've ever seen." Foul- 
weather was for having Madam Heatherwood come 
and talk with the patient. "She's been here twice," 


said the doctor, "and he doesn't know her from the 
Goddess of Liberty." The 30th of October came, 
and the doctor reported that though able to be up 
and moving about, his patient was daft and utterly 
irresponsible; but the next day came an order from 
Washington to send Trooper Bell under safe-conduct 
to Point of Rocks, that the court might judge of his 

An ambulance was provided, so was the escort, — 
Foulweather gladly furnished that, — and the entire 
"outfit" marched away with the dazed and muttering 
occupant of the vehicle, only to learn on reaching 
camp at Point of Rocks that the ride was useless 
after all. The court could not meet because the 
accused was gone. 

And how on earth to account for that escape was 
the question agitating every man from the com- 
manding officer down to the drum-boys. Clark had 
been summoned to Harper's Ferry by the general 
commanding the Twelfth Corps, and went the even- 
ing of the 31st, leaving his lieutenant-colonel in 
command of camp. The night was bustling. Troops 
were still crossing on the pontoons up-stream. There 
was a good deal of stir and movement. A light bat- 
tery that had been parked within two hundred yards 
of the house in which Fairfax was confined had 
orders to march at dawn for Leesburg, and the men 
were up grooming and feeding as early as four 
o'clock. A thick fog was creeping up the valley, 
and camp was shrouded in the misty veil, as the re- 
veille was soundinci:. 


The guard fell shivering into ranks to receive 
the officer of the day, and that gentleman, lantern in 
hand, strode into the narrow hall-waj, followed by 
the lieutenant in command of the guard, who un- 
locked the door of the first room to the right and 
bade his superior enter and see for himself, for Clark 
had ordered that every time the officer of the day 
visited his guard he should enter and assure himself 
of the presence of the prisoner. At one a.m. the offi- 
cer had found him in bed, slumbering peacefully. 
At 5.30 the fact that the position of the sleeper was 
apparently unchanged made both officers suspicious, 
and they made instant and closer examination. 
Dressed in a white night-shirt lay one of the pillows. 
The blankets were skilfully arranged and drawn up 
to look as though a human form lay beneath. By 
the bedside lay the shoes Fairfax had worn when 
captured, also a pair of socks. Folded on a chair 
near the head of the bed were the gray trousers 
(Ralph's). Hanging on the back of the chair ^vas the 
gray uniform coat, also Ralph's, and a handsome 
drab felt hat, heavily plumed, stood on the table 
near at hand. All the garments, all the belongings 
of the prisoner, apparently, were undisturbed, but 
where was he? There was no trap through which 
he could have gone. There was but one window, 
and that was cross-barred outside, and the bars 
tightly screwed to the wood-work. Only through 
that or the door could he have gone, but the window 
bars were still snugly screwed. While one officer 


rail out to notify the guard and alarm the camp, the 
other stopped to study the situation, and he found 
only one significant circumstance, that the dust had 
been brushed away from the window and window- 
seat. The shade, a cheajo green paper affair, was un- 
rolled from the top so as to cover the entire window 
and exclude light from without and prevent parties 
without from peering inquisitively within. He re- 
called that the prisoner, though accepting uncom- 
plainingly the hardships of his lot, and asking no 
favors of anybody, had courteously thanked Colonel 
Clark when that officer called upon him the previous 
week, and, in answer to the question as to whether 
there were not something he could do, without vio- 
lating orders, that would add to the comfort of his 
prisoner, had said that he would like a shade to the 
window at night, as the men occasionally came and 
stared in at him as he sat reading or writing by the 
light of his solitary' candle. It wasn't much to ask, 
and Clark gave directions accordingly. 

The house itself was a little, old-fashioned, two- 
story affair, with a hall in the middle and four rooms 
of nearly equal size on the ground floor. The pris- 
oner occupied the back room on the north side. It was 
lighted by this one window at the back, was entered 
from the hall, and the old door-way communicating 
with the front room had been bricked up. There 
was a fireplace and chimney in the north wall, but 
nothing bigger than a cat could squeeze up the chim- 
ney. There was a sentry in the hall night and day, 


another on the porch in front, another in the little 
yard in rear, which was reached by a narrow passage 
on the north side of the house, so narrow that it was 
possible for soldiers sitting in the side window of the 
upper story to prod with their bayonets the walls of 
the adjoining premises. The back yard opened into 
a narrow alley at the rear some twenty paces from 
the remains of the wooden kitchen that was tacked 
to the house before federal occupancy thereof, and 
other back yards were adjoining, but tents were 
pitched in all of them, for here had been the station 
of the provost-marshal's guard up to the time the 
army marched away. Soldier culprits by the dozens, 
stragglers, and mild malefactors had been corralled 
in these tents, while men accused of more severe 
offences, deserters or men accused of sleeping on post, 
had been^ imprisoned in the house itself. If Fairfax 
made his exit through the door and hall, he had to 
pass tv/o sentries and the main body of the guard. 
If he escaped by that barred window, three at least 
of the iron slats must have been removed, then re- 
placed, and all the time a sentry stood or walked 
within six feet of that window unless bribed or 
drugged to insensibility. 

It seemed no time at all before half the officers on 
duty at the spot came hurrying to the post of the 
guard. Every man of the four companies of the 
infantry provost party was under arms at reveille, 
and within ten minutes searching parties were rum- 
maging through the yards and houses in the village 


streets. Orderlies were sent for Major Foulweatlier, 
and that fiery old dragoon came galloping np the 
Earnesville road in less than half an hour, his squad- 
ron following half a mile behind, and under his ener- 
getic leadership despatches were sent or signalled to 
every neighboring camp. The officers of the court, 
many of them of high rank, kept back from their 
regiments until the case should be concluded, were 
among those aroused, and their grave faces showed 
liow seri'ous a matter they regarded it. "I should 
hate to be the officer to have to break this news to 
Stanton," said the president; but Toulweather 
seemed to share no such dread. So long as none of 
his command could be blamed, he did not mind. 
Almost the first thing he did was to send a despatch 
to the War Department at Washington to this 
effect : 

"The spy, Fairfax, escaped from charge of the in- 
fantry guard some time between midnight and re- 
veille. If given immediate authority, I believe I 
can recapture him with my command. Some of his 
haunts are known to me." 

And while awaiting answer, Foulweatlier saw that 
men and horses both had substantial breakfast, and 
then ransacked his luggage to find that letter of 
Bayard's aide-de-camp, and once more read the 
words : 

"There is a place in the Catoctin Valley, not two 
miles from the river, where they say Fairfax has 
twice been in hiding. It is owned by a Mr. Hunt, 


who is away in the army, and is cared for by his 
sister and some servants." Again he went over the 
description: "An old two-story stone house among 
a lot of rose-bushes and trees about twenty yards 
back from the road; chimneys at each gable end, 
built out like buttresses." I^ot a soul would he tell 
of this knowledge. It was too precious. By nine 
o'clock, to his huge delight, the Xew Hampshire 
men declared that they had searched every "scrap" 
of the neighborhood and could not find hide or hair 
of Fairfax. He prayed they might have no better 
luck throughout the livelong day. He waited with 
eagerness unspeakable the coming of the answer to 
his despatch, giving him, as he jDrayed, authority for 
independent action, and then, without a hint to a 
soul of where he was going, he would strike for the 
Catoctin. It would go hard with him if he did not 
find the Hunt place and Fairfax with it. It would 
go hard with Fairfax if he did. 

And just at ten o'clock, to his almost mad delight, 
just as he was reading an order from the division 
commander directing him to search the river towards 
Conrad's Ferry, there came a wire from Washington 
that superseded any orders any general might give 
him, for it bore the august mandate of the Secretary 
of War: 

"You are authorized and directed to take such 
steps as in your judgment may enable you to recap- 
ture the rebel spy Fairfax without delay, using your 
entire command if need be. ^Notification sent to 


commanding general at Harper's Ferrv and to com- 
manding officer at Knoxville." 

"Sound the mount, trumpeter," he shouted, glee- 
fully, as, booted and spurred, he sprang into saddle. 
"Bring the command straight to head-quarters, 
Treacj," he called to his wondering second. "I've 
got to show my orders to the general." 

And so it happened that valuable hours of that 
vital day were spent by a fuming old dragoon mth 
some long-suffering troopers at his back raiding the 
lovely Virginia valley for an old stone house owned 
by a Mr. Hunt some two miles from the river, em- 
bowered in roses and trees and other rural attrac- 
tions, a house that all this time was in the hands of 
Colonel Belden's Keystone troopers in the valley of 
similar name on the Maryland side, which fact Major 
Foulweather learned only after he had well-nigh ex- 
hausted his vocabulary of expletives, and as a last 
resort could only bethink him of Heatherwood. 

1^0 wonder he was in the worst of humors when 
he got there. ]^o wonder there was trouble in store 
for all who held it dear. 


In the scattered cavalry commands of tlie Armv 
of the Potomac everybody seemed to have heard of 
the hot altercation between Belden and Foulweather 
and of the latter's discomfiture. As has been said, 
there was anxiety in the minds of many a good sol- 
dier, especially in that of noble old John Bnford, 
still serving in his capacity as chief of cavalry, lest 
they should meet again, for Foulweather's threats 
had been heard far and wide. 

Eager to overtake the fugitive Virginian, the im- 
petuous old trooper had never thought to inquire 
about any Hunt place in the valley of the Maryland 
Catoctin, and had searched the Loudoun County 
"Kittoctan" only to meet discomfiture, — to learn 
that the Hunt place was on the Maryland side and, 
before heading for Heatherwood, that Belden's men 
were in actual possession of the haunt he supposed 
Belden knew nothing about; furthermore, that they 
had been in possession for several days, a squadron 
camping in the dreary, leafless orchard. It w^as then 
that Foulweather bethought himself of Heatherwood. 
"Whether he found Fairfax or no, he might find some- 
tliing and could make his order from the War De- 
partment an excuse, even an authorization, to search 

the once beautiful old mansion from cellar to garret. 


The little detachment of infantry volunteers on 
duty as guards had, of course, no obstacle to oppose 
to the actions of a field-officer of regular cavalry with 
a whole platoon at his back, and, indeed, in some 
individual cases had to scurry out of the way in un- 
dignified haste to avoid being trampled under the 
heels of the horses. These — the volunteers — stood 
there now sullen and scowling at the weary but im- 
passive faces of the troopers, who had dismounted 
and were silently awaiting the further orders of their 
officers. The latter by this time, accompanied by a 
corporal and two men, had been swallowed up in the 
broad hall-way, where a one-sided controversy was 
going on between the burly old major of regulars 
and the somewhat inexperienced lieutenant of vol- 
unteers, the officer of the guard. The junior was 
young but plucky. J^o such person as the major 
referred to could possibly be there without his knowl- 
edge, said he, and he objected to the search, but he 
was silenced by Foulweather's disdainful production 
of the Stanton telegram. "Come on!" said the ma- 
jor, shortly, to his tall, lath-like adjutant, and the 
heavy spurred boots began the ascent of the stairs. 
Already the evening shadows were falling without, 
and the hall was nearly dark. Foulweather stum- 
bled at the landing and swore characteristically. 
Yet even in his vengeful mood he suddenly halted 
within a step or two of the top, for there, dim and 
shadowy, but in her gentle dignity commanding his 
respect, stood the revered mistress of Heatherwood, 



and though her voice was low and almost pleading as 
she spoke, she none the less seemed to confront the 
intruders, and bid them pause. 

"Pardon me, gentlemen," were her first words. "I 
possibly did not understand the message brought me 
by my servant, or she misunderstood you, but my 
daughter has been very ill, and I know that you 
would not wish to disturb her. What is this about 
Captain Fairfax r' 

"Captain Fairfax, ma'am, escaped from prison at 
Point of Rocks this morning and is somewhere in 
hiding in this neighborhood. I am ordered by the 
Secretary of War himself to make strict search and 
leave no stone unturned to find him." 

"Captain Fairfax was here, as you have doubtless 
heard, sir, and refused to go when his comrades of 
the First Virginia came with a horse for him. Since 
the night Colonel Clark took him away under guard 
to Point of Rocks he has never set foot on this 

"He may be here now without your knowledge, 
ma'am," said Foulweather, indomitably, "and I 
thought it civil to tell you what my orders were. 
Search we must, and at once. I will send the other 
men through the cellar and first floor. Only these 
you see with me will be allowed to come higher. 
Corporal Dixon, put Devlin at that landing with 
orders to let no one come up until I tell you." And 
with that the blunt soldier would have resumed the 
ascent, but her white hand upraised and the suffering 


in the jiale and jDatient face again compelled his re- 
spect. Rapid footsteps were heard on the rear stair- 
way, too, and, flnshed and panting a trifle, Laura 
came hurrying along the hall, and in silent defiance 
took her place by the side of her beloved aunt. 

"Go down, Mr. Wilson/' -said Foul weather, 
sternly, to his tall staff-officer, "fin'd that rear stair- 
way at once, and put a sentry there with orders to 
let no one either up or down. Then join me again 

Down went AYilsori;, none too briskly. Police 
duty with Foulweather was anything but to his 

"One 'moment, sir," the gentle voice went on, as 
the sound of the adjutant's footsteps eeased at the 
portico without. "If your search ■must be made, I 
pray that you begin below. Then I may have time 
to prepare my child for your coming up here. It 
will take but a few minutes. We will offer no ob- 
jection, and resistance is of course impossible." 

There was good in the old war-horse, after all. 
Surly, exasperated, bitterly disappointed -as he was, 
the major felt liis resolution ebbing at the sound of 
that sorrowing |ilea. For a moment he hung there 
irresolute, then raising his battered forage-cap, he 
said, "I wish I hadn't to disturb you at all, ma'am, 
but we'll begin below anyhow." And turning, he 
actually tiptoed down the stairs, a thing he probably 
never was known to do before in his life. 

Five minutes later a dozen troopers, under his 


orders, were ransacking with lighted candles in the 
cellar, store-rooms, and kitchen, and one of them 
proved an expert. In a little chamber off the hall- 
way, and near the kitchen door and back stairway, 
he had made a discovery. The brick chimney that 
passed np from the cellar throngh this room was 
fully five feet wide just above the mantel and fire- 
place, yet the fireplace was small, one of those tiny 
niches apparently made for use in connection with 
what was called a Franklin stove. The stove was 
gone, and as Trooper Feeney poked his candle up the 
dark and narrow chimney and peered after it, he 
began tapping with the butt of his revolver at the 
brick-work. Presently he popped out, a bit grimy, 
but full of importance. "There's a holler in there 
of some kind," said he, "and I think this boarding 
by the fireplace opens." Already he Avas eagerly 
tapping at that and looking for concealed flap. "I've 
got it," he suddenly cried. "Give me a big knife, 
or a sabre." Only a little prying was necessary. A 
whole panel slipped easily out of its place, and, sure 
enough, there was a recess, and the first thing visible 
therein was a chamois sabre case, standing upright 
in the corner, and a sole-leather valise. In a mo- 
ment these were slung to the bedstead; a sword blade 
forced the lock of the latter while eager hands drew 
from the chamois case an almost brand new cavalry 
sabre of the finest make, an officer's, while, one by 
one, the contents of the valise proved to be a hand- 
some new uniform coat with the shoulder-straps of a 


captain of cavalry, a pair of light-blue trousers with 
the narrow yellow welt on the outer seam, as worn 
then by ofhcers of the Union horse, a rich crimson 
sash, a new sword belt, a forage-cap of fine quality, 
with the crossed sabres of the - — tli cavalry in front, 
rich gilt spurs, handsome gauntlets, a small cavalry 
saddle-cloth, a binocular field-glass, with some white 
shirts, collars, gloves, etc., and a change of under- 
wear; these completed the outfit. The valise was 
marked, in painted black letters on both ends, "J. L., 
IsTew York City." The letters J. L. were em- 
broidered on the shirt, and the collars bore the letters 
in indelible ink. 

Wonder, perplexity, and excitement were in old 
Foulweather's face as he carefully searched the 
pockets of the uniform for further clue, while 
Feeney prodded for more treasures in the great re- 
cess, but the search of both was fruitless. The 
pockets were empty; the watch pocket below the 
waistband of the trousers, on which tailors ordinarily 
write the name and address of their customers, had 
been carefully snipped off, apparently with scissors. 
The buttons of the trousers and a little silken slip 
inside the collar of the coat gave the name of a prom- 
inent military tailor of Gotham as the maker. The 
cap bore the stamp of AVarnock, at that time a lead- 
ing dealer in military supplies. The case of the 
sabre and the boxes of the sash and belt showed that 
these articles were bought of Tiffany, who during 
the war added such items to the usual stock of gems 


and silverware, but tlie owner's name could only be 
guessed at from the initials on the valise. There 
was no- waistcoat and there were no suspender-but- 
tons on the band of the trousers, and these to Foul- 
weather made valuable evidence. "That's the way 
those damned West Pointers dress," growled he to 
himself, in growing excitement. 

Full of his discovery, he again ascended the stairs 
and sought brief interview with the mistress of 
Heatherwood. From her daughter's room she came 
to the head of the stairs, patient and gentle as ever, 
while Laura, standing protectingly behind her, 
looked daggers at the blunt-sj^oken soldier in the 
despised Union blue. It was easy to see that Foul- 
weather's surprise at the treasure trove was slight 
compared to that of Mrs. Fleatherwood's. She was 

"Certainly no officer of the Union army has been 
an inmate of my house, nor do I know how to ac- 
count for the presence of these articles," was all that 
she would say; and when Foulweather, still full of 
suspicion as to Belden, would have cross-questioned 
her, she gently but firmly repeated what she had said 
before, that she had never met or known an officer 
of that name. As to Foulweather's declaration that 
he must take these treasures with him to the provost- 
marshal, Mrs. Heatherwood had no objection to 
make. She had known, she said, of the niche or 
recess in the brick-work ever since her honeymoon. 
She told him of others, but they contained nothing 


unusual or susjDicious. ''And now," said she, "if 
the major is still determined to search the upper 
story and garret, he can do so." And Foulweather, 
in a shamefaced, hurried, and perfunctory way, 
made a visit, yet barely glanced through the open 
rooms. An old suspicion had been rekindled in 
his breast. He was becoming with every mo- 
ment more eager to return to Point of Rocks, and 
within an hour of his arrival he rode away at the 
head of his men, leaving behind a thankful and re- 
lieved household, for in Belle's own sanctuary, hid- 
den in the depths of one of her trunks, was a flat tin 
case, tightly strapped, that she had been charged to 
hide where none could reach it, and the owner once 
more lay in the little field-hospital down under the 
westward blulfs. 

It was late in the evening when Foulweather's 
tired troopers reached their camp, and, after groom- 
ing, watering, and feeding their dust-covered 
chargers, were permitted to attend to their own ab- 
lutions, get supper, and then roll into their blankets, 
but there was no rest for their raging major. Stop- 
ping only long enough to get a fresh horse and a 
drink, he rode on to Point of Rocks, followed by a 
brace of orderlies, one of whom bore all the way on 
the pommel the sole-leather valise ravished from 
Heatherwood, while the other carried the sabre. 
The provost-marshal had turned in, but turned out 
again at sound of Foulweather's rasping voice. 

''Well, what news of Fairfax?" was the immediate 


question, as he stumbled down the little flight of 
wooden steps in front of his quarters. 

"Damn Fairfax! He has more hiding holes than 
a prairie dog. But I've got something to pay for 
our chase." 

"Damn that!" as politely replied the provost-mar- 
shall. "Here's the War Department wiring me all 
day long every few hours to know what you had 
accomplished, and where you'd gone. Thank God 
they sent Clark to take charge of the guard here, or 
I'd have been on the way to Fort Lafayette. He 
isn't, though. He's got one of the sentries behind 
the bars already. They say the fellow was bought 
out, — that Leesburg and Frederick contributed over 
a thousand dollars to bribe this very man. We 
couldn't keep a thousand men under lock and key 
to prevent their being approached. It's plain that 
those bars were unscrewed, probably between three 
and four o'clock this morning, and then as deliber- 
ately screwed in again by somebody while somebody 
else spirited the prisoner away through that back 
alley and across the Potomac. Think of rebel sympa- 
thizers among our men!" 

"Think of 'em among our officers, by God!" was 
Foulweather's fierce rejoinder. "Look at this outfit 
that Ave gobbled at Heatherwood, and then promise 
you'll take a ride with me in the morning." 

The ofiicial had no objection to looking over the 
outfit, whatever doubts he might entertain as to the 
propriety of his riding forth with Foulweather. 


Valise and sabre were borne into his shabby quarters, 
and great was his surprise and curiosity when he 
learned where and how the articles had been dis- 
covered. Then Foulweather insisted on the provost- 
marshal's promise to ride with him "not farther 
than Knoxville" in the morning. The mai'shal 
scented mischief, and would only agree to consider 
it, and before the major could resume his entreaties 
heavy footsteps came quickly up the little porch and 
into the hall, and, with gloom in his eyes, there stood 
Colonel Clark. He had never fancied Foulweather, 
and it stung him to meet him in this hour of his hu- 
miliation and distress. Clark had keen wits. He 
well understood that the "regular" rather delighted 
in the misfortune that had befallen the ISTew Hamp- 
shire regiment, and his greeting was cold and formal. 
Quick as his clumsy hands could do the work, the 
major had thrust everything into the valise again as 
he heard the coming footsteps, and his back, bend- 
ing over the task, was towards the colonel as he 
entered the dimly lighted room. Foulweather 
seemed actually embarrassed, an unusual thing for 

But Clark barely glanced at the valise. As for 
the sabre, except that it was new and bright, there 
was nothing uncommon in the sight. "I heard you 
were here, sir," said he, very quietly. "I fear you 
have not met with success." 

"Well, rather," was the half-taunting reply. 
"Your bird had too many hours the start. How 


many of your men were mixed up in the consj)iracy, 
do you suppose?" 

"That remains to be seen," said the colonel, 
calmly. He well knew how aggravating it would 
be to Foulweather if he showed no sign of chagrin. 
''We are fortunate in so early discovering the cul- 
prit, — a fellow whose captain and comrades have sus- 
pected of rascality more than once before, and as he 
has been to Frederick twice in ten days, and been 
seen in conversation with prominent sympathizers, 
he was pounced on as the defaulting sentry. The 
wonder is that he did not desert at once and try to get 
away. Probably he thought the chance would be 
better later on. Possibly he couldn't get all the 
money promised him. Five hundred dollars was 
paid him, and it was found to-day hidden under a 
brick in the old walk close to his post. He dared 
not have it about him, of course, and had hid it 
there for the time being. I've no doubt the thing 
has been planned a week at least, and that Fairfax 
is far over in Virginia beyond Aldie by this time. 
Sentries on the railway say they heard the muffled 
sound of oars about four o'clock, dying away towards 
the other bank, but it was too dark to see anything. 
My regret is that you could not have started earlier. 
You would have stood more chance of recapturing 

But Foulweather would not be mollified by cour- 
teous words. He knew Clark did not like him. 
He knew that he did not like Clark. It was high 


time now to be getting back to camp. He had meant 
to leave the valise and sabre in possession of the 
IDrovost-marshal until morning, but Clark might be- 
come curious as to what the valise contained. "I'll 
write a couple of despatches, if you please, major," 
said he to the official, "then go back to camp." So 
saying and stepping to the door, he called to his men, 
"Come in here, one of you, and get these things," 
whereat spurred boots clicked their way across the 
rude sidewalk in front and up the steps, and just as 
the soldier entered the provost-marshal placed a 
candle on the table. Its light fell full on the end of 
the valise, on the painted letters, "J. L., New York 
City," and as the trooper stretched forth his hand 
the voice of Colonel Clark was heard, sharp and 
commanding : 

"Stop one moment. Don't take that. Why, 
Major Foulweather, I know that valise. How on 
earth came it here?" 

"Oh, I suppose you could have seen it any day at 
Heatherwood, if that's what you mean," said Foul- 
weather, indifferently. "That's where I found it 
this evening, — and its precious contents. The man 
that owns them things has an explanation to make to 
me to-morrow." 

"You got that at Heatherwood, Major Foul- 
weather? Why, sir, the last time I saw it was at 
Monadnock, my home in New Hampshire, and its 
owner was killed at first Bull Run." 


Grave changes came in the Army of the Potomac 
within the next few days. McClellan, relieved from 
command, was succeeded by Biirnside. Clark and 
his Xew Hampshire men pushed on to the front, bri- 
gaded with other new and big regiments. The court 
for the trial of Captain Fairfax was broken up and 
ordered to rejoin the corps or regiments of the re- 
spective members, their deliberations being done 
with, thanks to the unfeeling conduct of the accused, 
who had succeeded, so said jubilant Southern women 
at Leesburg and Frederick, by long and devious 
route, in rejoining his comrades. Every member 
was made to feel in some indefinable way that the 
Iron Secretary considered that altogether too much 
time had been consumed; that they should have sat 
without regard to hours, in fact without regard to 
orders, and that proper attention to duty on their 
part would have resulted days before in the convic- 
tion of the rash Virginian and his summary execu- 
tion as a spy. Stanton's heart was hot within him 
over the daring raid of Stuart, followed so speedily 
by this most unaccountable escape of one of his most 
prominent and distinguished officers, captured 
within our lines unquestionably in the capacity of a 
spy. As it was, he held, or seemed to hold, that the 


court had allowed Fairfax to escape as easily as 
Stuart got away, and that was a matter that rankled, 
and no wonder, in more breasts than one at the 
AVar Department. Gloom and depression reigned 
in Washington. Other distinguished generals had 
been relieved from command, and some of them 
ordered to be tried for no less an offence than mis- 
behavior in the face of the enemy. Lee and the 
Southern hosts were falling back, to be sure, but 
only to the old line of the Rappahannock, where 
they were thoroughly at home, and could make 
things lively for their opponents with small loss or 
trouble to themselves. A new general was charged 
with the defence of the line of the Potomac and the 
Baltimore and Ohio road. Belden's fine regiment 
of Pennsylvania cavalry went on to report to one 
brigade, while Foulweather, still an unappreciated 
major of regular horse, received, with disgust un- 
speakable, the order to rejoin the little band of vete- 
ran troopers of the old army, and his days of inde- 
pendent action were done with. But one of his men 
still lingered behind, apparently wounded in mind 
as well as body, and that was Trooper Bell. 

But meantime, several things had happened north 
of the Potomac of more immediate consequence to 
those whose fortunes or misfortunes we have been 
following. First, that inevitable meeting between 
Belden and Foulweather occurred just as every man 
said he knew it would, and but for Clark's foresight 
and prompt action worse consequences might have 


ensued. Early in the morning following the escape 
of Fairfax, the grizzled major galloped in among the 
camps at Point of Rocks, followed by his orderlies 
and a most unhappy looking adjutant, and once more 
he importuned the i^rovost-marshal to go with him, 
and this time to no purpose. The provost-marshal 
pleaded official duty. All the same, he had curiosity 
enough to urge Foulweather to reveal the object of 
his journey, and as Foulweather w^ould not tell, and 
rode away swearing disgustedly, his suspicions that 
something unpleasant was in the wind Avere con- 
firmed, and he had sense enough to go and warn 

"Did he have that valise and sabre still with him ?" 
asked the colonel, who had taken as strong a fancy 
to Belden as he had imbibed dislike to his comrade 
trooper and inveterate enemy. "Yes," said the pro- 
vost-marshal, whereat Clark ordered out his horse, 
his adjutant, and orderly, and, inviting the provost- 
marshal to join him, the four quickly took the up- 
river road to Pleasant Valley and trotted hard after 
hard-riding Foulweather. At the Catoctin crossing 
they learned from Belden's vedettes that their 
colonel was at the camp of the third squadron, two 
miles up the valley, near the Hunt place; that a 
major of regulars had gone up there not tAventy 
minutes ahead of them; and Clark's quartette put 
spurs to their excited horses and galloped like mad. 

ISTone too soon did they reach the spot. The 
group in front of Colonel Belden's. tent was in a fer- 


ment already, and well it might be. In brief, what 
had already happened was this: Belden had just 
finished breakfast and was engaged in writing a 
letter at his field-desk when his attention was at- 
tracted by hoof-beats on the half-frozen ground and 
the sudden appearance in front of his tent of Major 
Foulweather, with "Lanky" AVilson and two order- 
lies. The major was off his horse in an instant, 
Wilson and the valise-bearer more slowly finding 
their feet on terra firma. The second orderly held 
the four horses, and both he and his mate, who fol- 
lowed Foulweather valise in one hand and cased 
sabre in the other, looked as dejected as though be- 
fore a garrison court, while poor Wilson almost 
wished himself in Libby, for all three admired 
Belden far more than they did their own leader. 
Belden's orderly, a sturdy volunteer from the Sus- 
quehanna valley, looked dubiously at the arriving 
party, but saluted, as he had been taught to, when 
Foulweather stalked straight to the open flaps of the 
colonel's tent, while Belden's blue eyes grew steely, 
a flush mounted quickly to his forehead, and there 
came a curious corrugation of the skin between the 
heavy eyebrows. Without rising, he half turned in 
his camp-chair and confronted the party. Foul- 
weather advanced to the planking in front before he 
spoke. Then the words came with a snap: 

"Captain Belden," he began, discourteously re- 
fusing to recognize that officer's volunteer rank, 
"you are unattended, I see, and what I have to say 


to you you may prefer to have your own witnesses 
to report, in case you should have the hardihood to 
bring the matter before a court-martial. I'll wait 
till you can summon them." 

There was no need to summon. Already, at sight 
of Foulweather, a squadron leader and the regi- 
mental adjutant were coming "on the jump," and 
reached the spot almost at the close of the major's 
opening remarks. 

"I have had one visit too many from you already, 
sir," said Belden, coldly, "but as "we are our own 
masters here, I know of no better place for a meet- 
ing." And there was the significance of the old 
army in the way Belden used the word, as, saying it, 
he slowly and deliberately rose and, stepping out of 
the tent, confronted the glowering major, who, in- 
deed, had to fall back a pace to avoid collision. "Now 
what do you want?" he went on, and it must be 
admitted that neither in word nor tone was Belden 
either conciliatory or civil. Promptly the Keystone 
captain and Belden's soldierly young adjutant 
ranged themselves alongside their colonel, with 
fight in their kindling eyes and clinched fists. Foul- 
weather noted, but mthout alarm. Fighting was his 

"I accused you some weeks ago, sir," said he, "of 
clandestine visits to the Heatherwood place." Foul- 
weather wasn't quite certain what clandestine meant, 
but he had heard the adjective frequently used in 
qualification of that very noun, and it sounded well. 


"You denied it, and I was reprimanded for circu- 
lating malicious stories. You still maintain you were 
never there, I suppose?" 

"I decline to have any further words with you on 
the subject." 

"j^o doubt," said Foul weather, triumphantly 
glancing' at the Pennsylvania officers, and then turn- 
ing and beckoning the trooper to come forward. 
"You have caught sight of some of my evidence, and 
it's staggered you, I presume; but that's not all, by 
a damned sight." 

"Use only civil words, sir," or I'll be compelled 
to have you escorted out of this camp less ceremoni- 
ously than you were once before." 

"JS'ot much you won't. Captain Belden," inter- 
posed Foul weather. "You'll be wise if you hasten 
to write your resignation." Then suddenly turning 
to the Pennsylvania officers, now reinforced to the 
number of half a dozen, "Gentlemen," said he, "your 
commanding officer, whom I have known years 
longer than you have, declared on honor he had 
never visited the Heatherwood place. Your com- 
manding officer, while he was still serving with his 
proper regiment, came back to camp after a few days 
in Washington with a cock-and-bull story about 
having been robbed at "VVillard's of a new sabre and 
suit of uniform." 

"We know all about that," interrupted a captain, 

hotly, "and it's true." 

"I'm here to prove that he wasn't robbed. I'm 


here to say tliat, as the army's on the move and 
court-martials can't be hekl, that he'll save wide- 
spread scandal and disgrace by tendering his resigna- 
tion here and now. Open that sabre case and that 
valise," he ordered, turning to his orderly. "Here's 
youf stolen sabre, Captain Belden. Here's your new 
uniform, and I found the whole outfit last night 
secreted at Heatherwood." 

Belden, towering over the bulky major, had stood 
there blazing at first with wrath, then turning con- 
temptuously cool; but at sight of the glistening 
sabre and the uniform coat, which the orderly re- 
luctantly unfolded and displayed, a gleam of interest 
shone in his flashing blue eyes. 

"Bring those things forward," he coolly said, and, 
stooping once more, the orderly advanced with his 
burden. Belden calmly took the sabre, examined 
hilt, guard, blade, and scabbard, then put it carefully 
aside, threw ofl? the double-breasted frock he was 
wearing, took the captain's 'uniform coat from the 
orderly's hands, donned it in a trice, buttoned it from 
throat to waist, and the fit was almost j^erfect. He 
carefully looked at the trousers, noted the disap- 
pearance of the watch-pocket, tossed them aside, and 
then, as the orderly held the valise open before him, 
he tried on the cap, — another perfect fit, — examined 
belt, sash, and gauntlets as deliberately as he did the 
cap, and all this time not a word was spoken. Foul- 
weather, breathing hard, seemed at first swelling 
with assured triumph, but as Belden waxed calmer 


every moment and more indifferent to his accuser as 
lie grew interested in the garments and equipments, 
it seemed to the major that the climax was not as 
dramatic as he had planned. Belden was curiously 
studying the marking of the few shirts and collars. 
These he tumbled with the sash and belt back into 
the valise, took off the coat, deliberately handed it to 
his servant, who had come a wondering spectator, 
"Pick up those trousers," he ordered the boy, "lay 
the coat, cap, trousers, and sabre on my bed. — They 
are my property," said he, turning to the officers. "I 
know nothing about the rest. Ordinarily one re- 
wards the man who returns stolen property, but you, 
sir, came here as an enemy. Xow take your plunder 
— and yourself — off." 

The silence that followed was brief enough, but 
men who were present long remembered it, and how 
furiously Foulweather broke it. 

"Damn your infernal impudence!" he began, 
when a white, muscular hand seized him by the 
throat; two hands, in fact, were at his collar in an 
instant, and before them all, despite his furious 
struggles, Foulweather was seized, throttled, shaken 
as a terrier shakes a rat, Belden uttering never a 
word the while, and no man interfered save when 
Foulweather strove to drag his revolver from its 
holster. Then the Pennsylvania adjutant made a 
quick spring and, knocking the hairy paw aside, pos- 
sessed himself of the weapon, and the throttling and 
shaking went on. Wilson, looking almost ready to 


cry, began to plead. One of the trooj^ers, who had 
followed old Foulweather all over the plains, ac- 
tually wept with excitement and distress of mind, 
and just when it began to look as though the major 
stood in danger of being choked to death, for his 
eyes were popping and his face was black, there 
came a dash of horsemen into their midst, and Colo- 
nel Clark took in the situation at a glance. 

"Stop this, instantly, Colonel Belden," he cried, 
his voice ringing loud and commanding. "Release 
that officer. Gentlemen, I order you both under 
arrest," and, as Belden obeyed, his almost exhausted 
victim tottered and would have fallen but for the 
support of the nearest men, on whose arms he leaned, 
gasping and gurgling. Then Clark dismounted and 
came straight into the group. "Give him a chair and 
some water," he said, indicating Foulweather, and the 
scared servant jumped out with a camp-stool. "Colo- 
nel Belden, you at least are able to speak; give me 
your word this matter shall go no further." 

"I give you my word, sir, that unless that man 
keeps away it shall go very much further," was the 
calm reply. "Major Foulweather knows where he 
can find me any time he desires; for the present I 
must observe your arrest." And with cool dignity, 
yet panting a bit from the lively exertion, the stal- 
wart young colonel retired within his tent. 

It was some minutes before Foulweather could be 
moved. For a time it looked as though an apoplectic 
seizure might result, but Clark presently shook him 


up and ordered him instantly to mount and return 
with the provost-marshal to Point of Rocks. The 
moment he could speak at all, Foulweather de- 
manded that the uniform and sabre be restored to 
him, but Clark promptly refused. "You declared 
your belief that they belonged to Colonel Belden," 
said he. "Colonel Belden substantiates your state- 
ment, and you have restored them to the owner; you 
have no right to them whatever." 

"For evidence — when he's tried — I'll never rest — 
till he's court-martialed," sputtered the raging old 
soldier. But Wilson, at a sign from Clark, took his 
bridle-rein and led him away, the provost-marshal 
on the other side, the orderlies following sorrow- 
fully. Even among the Pennsylvanians there was 
sympathy for the broken-down old fire-eater of a 

And later that day Clark found him sleeping in 
his little tent down by the Barnesville road, and bent 
over the grizzled face of the man who moaned 
wretchedly in his heavy, almost stertorous slumber. 
He had been drinking hard, — his only solace, poor, 
lonely old fellow, — and his throat was bound with a 
handkerchief steeped in diluted arnica. Treacy came 
to see the colonel and inquire for particulars. He 
didn't mind being in command, but, "AVliat the divil 
had the ould man been doin'?" And Clark briefly 
explained, then asked to see that mysterious valise, 
carefully studied the inscription, the lettering on the 
shirts and collars, had one each of the latter sent to 
his camp, and rode forthwith to Heatherwood. 


That evening Madam Heatlierwood repeated to 
him that she had no idea that any such valise had 
ever been under her roof, but when told that it was 
marked "J. L., Xew York City," and asked if she 
could account for its being there at all, the gentle 
and beloved lady became greatly agitated. 

"I suspect; but even if I knew, colonel, I could 
not tell, bound by a promise as I am." 

Clark tried to see Miss Pleatherwood, but was told 
that she was still far too weak and ill to receive a 
visitor, much less to be questioned. Then he sought 
a word with Laura, who had not been seen since his 
arrival; but Clark had heard laughing talk among 
the men, and so made at once for the orchard, and 
there a crippled corporal stood attention on his 
crutches, and was not unkindly told to go back to 
hospital, which both Miss Waddell and Mr. Pet- 
tingill much resented, and the latter confided the 
cause of his annoyance to that queer fellow Bell, 
who w^as again convalescent and sitting up. And 
when, after a half-hour's cross-questioning of the 
saucy Virginia girl, Colonel Clark came riding down 
to the field-surgeon's bailiwick, and again spoke 
kindly and cordially to Pettingillj the latter melted 
at once. But when that colonel went through the big 
tents, speaking pleasantly to the wounded, several 
cots were empty. Bell's among them, and no Bell 
could they find when the colonel expressed a desire 
to see the man who fought so gallantly to save Pen- 
nington's gun. 


But that night Colonel Clark wrote a rather long 
letter, which, addressed to Mr. George Lowndes, 
ISTew York City, went off via Baltimore next day, 
and found no such person at the big gloomy old man- 
sion. Father and daughter, the Lowndeses, had left 
the scene of their sorrows and gone abroad. That 
was why for months no answer came to Clark's 
missive. In two weeks more he and his regiment 
were on the Rappahannock, and Belden and Foul- 
weather — long since released from arrest, as it was 
understood that the latter would attempt no further 
meeting with the colonel, but had reduced his 
grievances and charges to writing and the considera- 
tion of the War Department — they, too, were well 
away by different routes on the march to join their 
brigades, and still newer troops moved into the val- 
ley of the Monocacy and up the Potomac towards 
Harper's Ferry. The night before Clark marched 
he called to say good-by to the gentlewomen of 
Heatherwood, and there he heard a piece of news 
that Madam Heatherwood told him with tears run- 
ning down her cheeks. A\niile her boys, Ralph and 
Tighlman, were still imprisoned in Washington, 
Floyd I airfax had succeeded in rejoining Stuart and 
his old regiment, only to find himself ostracized, 
"cut," a Pariah among soldiers and gentlemen, ac- 
cused by Montfort and Garnett of shirking danger 
and duty with his men and accepting dishonorable 
captivity under the roof which sheltered the lady of 
his love. 


Evil days had come to Heatlierwood, as well as 
to those who loved it and so long had made it their 
home. The gloomy winter of '62-3 opened early. 
The blue Catoctins had been shrouded in a snow- 
cloud before November was fairly a week old, and 
the old household physician, riding over from Fred- 
erick two or three times a week, an object of suspi- 
cion to every new sentry or guard despite the numer- 
ous passes and vouchers he never dared to leave at 
home, finally shook his head over the slow recovery 
of his patient, and asked her devoted mother if it 
were not possible to remove her to Baltimore or 
"Washington. Laura sang no longer in the orchard, 
where a meeting and parting of the romantic sort 
had taken place when Pettingill received sudden 
orders to accompany a party of convalescents to the 
distant front, and he and silent, stern-faced Trooper 
Bell were marched away by slow stages to reinforce 
the army. Burnside was massing in front of Fred- 
ericksburg for the senseless slaughter yet to come. 
Ralph and Tighlman still sighed in their soldier 
prison and were refused exchange, despite the fact 
that scores of their comrades were being sent back to 
Virginia. Foul weather's charges against Belden, 
though they fell flat where the gallant accused was 


concerned, seemed to have redoubled the ire of the 
Secretary of War and confirmed him in his belief 
that the lieatherwoods had rewarded kindness with 
treachery. As ill luck would have it, the officers 
who best knew the gentle mistress of the old manse 
were mostly of the class that clung to McClellan, 
Porter, Stone, and others whose names were, for the 
time being at least, clouded in Stanton's eyes. 
Nothing they could say in her behalf appealed to 
him. l^othing others could urge proved potent 
enough to outweigh two things, — first, Mrs. Heather- 
wood's calm and determined assertion that she could 
not say who it was that had spirited away Fairfax's 
farmer disguise and had hidden in that chimney 
niche the uniform and equipment of a cavalry offi- 
cer; indeed, she said that she did not know; and, 
secondly. Miss Heatherwood's equally calm and de- 
termined reply, weak though she was when visited 
by the staff-officer sent to investigate, that she would 
not tell, though she admitted that she did know. The 
question of their removal from Ileatherwood was 
settled for them without further reference to the 
doctor, and the three ladies, carefully yet courte- 
ously guarded, were escorted to Baltimore, where 
old friends received them with open arms, only to 
become, in turn, objects of suspicion themselves, 
and to find their home, their movements, their very 
lives, dogged by detectives and secret service people. 
It could not be otherwise. It was one of the inevi- 
table consequences of the war. Away into Decern- 


ber the head of the War Department would boil over 
with wrath and indignation when Stuart's raid was 
mentioned, or some one spoke of Fairfax. Well was 
it for Colonel Clark, with all the splendid record 
won during the first year of the war, that he had 
been summoned to Harper's Ferry and was away at 
the moment of the Virginian's escape. Even as it 
was, Stanton seemed to hold that the colonel should 
have foreseen and prevented any possibility of his 
soldiers being tempted by the wealthy friends of the 
accused. The Xew Hampshire "boys" went into the 
hopeless assault on the heights of Fredericksburg 
under the spur of Stanton's intimation that they had 
a disgrace to wash out, and if the blood of half their 
number were atonement sufficient, as Clark sadly 
wrote that bitter night, then were they indeed 

Left in charge of poor old Chloe and her aging 
spouse, with a caretaker from Poolesville and fre- 
quent domiciliary visits from curious soldiery pass- 
ing that way, Heatherwood Towers, as the Mary- 
landers poetically called it, drowsed through the 
dreary winter, yet found itself not altogether friend- 
less. The major-general commanding at Baltimore, 
a man somewhat of Stanton's type, would order no 
guard for its protection, but there were invalids in 
the field-hospital under the height who day after day 
had eagerly awaited the visit of its gentle owner, 
whose sweet smile and soothing or encouraging 
words had sustained them in the fevered days of the 


autumn. Mindful of the many little delicacies that 
she had brought them, and of her affectionate care, 
they now, in their slowly regaining strength, organ- 
ized among themselves, after hearing of depredations 
and robberies, what they called the Heathenvood 
Guards, and with the full knowledge and approval 
of the surgeon in charge, who also had learned to 
bless her coming as much as they, stoutly posted 
their crippled sentries night and day and taught the 
evil-disposed a lesson that prolonged the life of the 
once lovely old place through the bitter winter, until 
there came a day when once more the orchard was 
in full bloom and the orioles and blue birds were 
flashing in the sunlight from tree to tree, when their 
numbers were so far reduced that they were power- 
less against the new and relentless foe, and all their 
loyal tribute of affection and gratitude w^as in vain. 
Xo need here to tell of the increasing gloom at 
Washington over the disasters, one after another, 
that befell the gallant, patient, ever-ready, yet long- 
mishandled Army of the Potomac, or of the cor- 
responding joy and increasing hope and defiance in 
the social life of Baltimore. All through the long, 
anxious winter the Heatherwoods lived there in mo- 
notonous seclusion, diversified, perhaps, by the arrest 
of Miss Waddell for irrepressible impudence to the 
provost-guard after the news of Fredericksburg. Her 
release was speedily ordered by a laughing, gray- 
haired colonel, who drove her to the verge of fury 
by demanding of his juniors what possible harm the 


little spitfire could have done; and she was really 
pining to be court-martialied and jailed as a rebel 
and a martyr one minute, even while secretly pray- 
ing for news of Fettingill the next. He was first 
sergeant of his company when Hooker made that 
admirable move to Chancellorsville the last of April, 
and, still as first sergeant, commanded it when it 
slowly fell back with the fiercely fighting line on the 
third day of that headless battling. "Young and 
green" as he was at the start, the fighting blood of 
Concord Bridge and Bunker Hill was coursing in 
his veins, and Clark, though himself wounded and 
well-nigh broken-hearted over the disastrous moves 
that had robbed him of one-third of his officers and 
men, wrote to the governor that First Sergeant Fet- 
tingill deserved promotion more than any man he 
could think of in the ranks. 

And Baltimore was mad with ill-concealed joy 
and delight when, close upon the heels of the news 
of Chancellorsville, there came the thrilling whisper, 
"Lee is coming! Lee is coming! The victorious 
army of the South will be across the Fotomac — at 
our very gates — within a fortnight!" And Belle 
Heatherwood's pale cheek flushed with strange emo- 
tion — hope? love? anticipation? — who could say? 
Twice had letters been brought to her from Fairfax, 
a vindicated man. The letters of friends at Lees- 
burg, Poolesville, and Frederick, backed by those 
of Madam Heathcrwood herself, all spirited through 
the lines by the mysterious agencies existing both in 


Baltimore and Wasliington, had established his in- 
nocence of the allegations laid at his door, but, in 
his wrath at Montfort and Garnett, he had refused 
further service with them and had fought superbly 
on the staff of A. P. Hill until the officers and men 
of a sorely depleted regiment of Virginians urged 
his acceptance of a vacant lieutenant-colonelcy, and 
he led them like a lion when they struck the corps of 
Howard, crushing it like an egg-shell, the fatal first 
day of Hooker's one battle in chief command. 

But over and again there was a question on the 
mother's lips that was checked by Belle Heather- 
wood's uplifted hand, by the piteous plea in her sad, 
sweet face. Much her mother suspected that one 
man had risked life and honor to save Floyd Fairfax 
for no other reason than that he believed the Vir- 
ginian's death as a spy would break Belle Heather- 
wood's heart. The nimble escape with the con- 
demning disguise, the later relapses, and the well- 
assumed mental break-down essayed to prevent his 
being called as a witness before the court, — these, 
together with the daring and devotion he had earlier 
shown in their service, plainly told their story, — 
that Trooper Bell was a lover Quixotic, even, in self- 
abnegation, and so unworthy in his own eyes as to 
ask no word of hope, and only in one way able to 
find means to relieve his over-weighted heart: he 
could not woo or win her love, but her gratitude, her 
respect, he could and would command. Firmly be- 
lieving, ever since the night he witnessed her agony 


over the capture of Fairfax, that it was because she 
devotedly loved him, he had first secured, then 
dashed away with, the fatal disguise, had later man- 
aged to head off every effort to produce himself as a 
witness, and had finally and silently gone his way to 
rejoin his regiment without one word of blessing 
from her lips, without one glance from her beau- 
tiful, grateful eyes. From him no further line or 
message had come. Foulweather had sent the va- 
lise with its contents to the War Department, where 
it was speedily relegated to a rubbish heaj), bigger 
game than that demanding the efforts of every man 
on duty; and now the Heatherwoods knew not whom 
to ask; indeed, they knew not but that inquiry for a 
Union trooper on their part might blast his name 
and prospects even as their own seemed ruined. Un- 
able to relieve their OAvn anxiety on his account, they 
were ill equipped to lessen that of others, yet there 
came a day, just when for the second time Lee's 
hard-marching infantry once more swung their bat- 
tered hats and cheered at sight of the blue Catoctins 
of Maryland, when Belle Heatherwood, reading 
aloud to her wearied mother as the latter lay by the 
open window, fanned by the soft Southern breeze, 
was startled by the slow opening of a door leading 
into the hall, and there, hesitant, timid, yet with a 
world of sorrow and pleading in her face, dressed 
still in morning, stood Florence Lowndes. 

One moment she hung there irresolute, as Belle 
slowly rose from her chair, her face wliiter now than 


that of her nnlooked for visitor, her slender hands 
pressed to her temples, her eyes filled with bewilder- 
ment. Then with one impulsive gesture she threw 
out her arms, and in an instant the girls were locked 
in each other's embrace, every bitter word of the past 

Later that long June afternoon, their sorrow- 
weighted hearts relieved through nature's blessed 
floodgates by the torrent of their tears, they were 
seated at a window commanding a view of the wide 
and crowded thoroughfare. All Baltimore seemed 
thronging into the open air, thrilled with exultation, 
they whose loved ones marched with Lee, or silent 
with apprehension, they whose hearts and hopes were 
bound up in the Union. Wild rumors were afloat 
on every side. IS'^ewsboys yelled shrill mendacity, as 
they darted, "extra" laden, through the crowd. 
Gayly dressed women exchanged congratulations, 
even daringly flaunted the rebel colors on their dress, 
laughing gleefully as their bright eyes flashed de- 
fiance at the blue-uniformed ofiicers hastening to and 
from the general's head-quarters up the street. A 
band was playing spirited music at the base of the 
monument in the adjoining square, and a roar of 
delight went up from a thousand throats when it 
suddenly burst forth \vith the strains of "The Bonnie 
Blue Flag." The rush of the provost-guard was all 
that stopped still further demonstration, and a regi- 
ment, with bayonets ominously fixed, marched in 
grim silence through the square, formed line in front 


of liead-quarters, and stood at rest, leaning on the 
muzzles of the long muskets and peering sternly out 
from under the black visors of the worn blue forage- 
caps at the occasionally jeering swarm along the op- 
posite sidewalk. For reasons of her own Mrs. 
Heatherwood refrained from coming to the windows 
this day, and remained at the rear of the house. 
Another perplexity had come. Well she knew that 
in this unheralded return from abroad Florence 
Lowndes and her father had at last received Clark's 
important missive, and were there to question. 
Surely there was something strange in the fact that 
Jack's valise, with some of his clothing, together 
with the uniform of another officer, should have 
been found at Heatherwood. Florence was confi- 
dent that Jack had only one such valise, and that he 
took it with him when he went to the front at the 
first call. Well she remembered her tearful parting 
with him and her dread of her father's anger should 
he discover that his daughter had dared seek his 
banished son. It had hurt her that the news came as 
it did. She could hardly explain why, except that 
"Mr." Clark, as she persisted in calling the now 
famous brigade commander, beloved and honored 
in the hard-hit, hard-fighting army, had never un- 
derstood Jack, and had even prejudiced her father 
against him. Reasoning it all out, she well knew 
that after her bitter words to Belle and her refusal 
to answer the latter's sad, womanly letter she had no 
right to expect the Ileatherwoods would write again. 


She had never notified them of the project of going 
abroad, where, finding no comfort in the beaten 
track, father and daughter had sought the bj-wajs, 
and had gone to what were then remote places. 
Clark's letter awaited them in Rome on their return 
from a long, lingering journej up the I^ile; and so, 
while, sobbing, she told Miss Ileatherwood of the 
tidings sent by Clark, it never seemed to occur to her 
that for over a year Belle had known all about the 
valise and other and far more vital matters and had 
made no sign. She accepted as all sufficient Belle's 
half-choking explanation that it was found at Ma- 
nassas where mother had gone to nurse the wounded. 
She seemed to attach no significance to the fact that 
Mrs. Heatherwood had avoided her all the afternoon. 
It was but natural that the fond and gentle woman 
should think best to leave the girls together for 
hours, that the reconciliation might be complete. 
Her father was to call at eight and talk with Mrs. 
Heatherwood himself. He wished to seek her aid 
in the discovery of important papers Jack probably 
had in that valise at the time of the capture of the 
baggage-wagons by the exultant Southerners. Xo 
one would more readily assist him in his search than 
this noble woman who was so honored by soldiers 
both ]!*«3^orth and South. And so as the afternoon 
wore on Belle's nervousness began to disappear. 
Florence asked no questions that grievously embar- 
rassed her. Together they read the ominous extras. 

Together they clung, standing at the window watch- 



ing tlie increasing crowd and excitement in the 
street. Timidly Florence began to ask for tidings 
of Ilalpli and Tiglilman, and finally of Fairfax, and 
quickly she noted the faint color that stole to the 
soft cheek of the Maryland girl at mention of the 
Virginian's name. Together they were seated at the 
open casement when, with flashing eyes and flaming 
cheeks, Laura Waddell came bounding in all athrill, 
her light silken jacket throwm back, revealing on the 
bosom of the gossamer gown beneath the scarlet, 
blue, and white of the "Stars and Bars." The sight 
of the stranger only slightly checked her impulse. 

"Belle! Belle!" she cried; "look out yahnduh! 
Here comes that very fella you wouldn't tell me 
about at home; and he's got to be a general!" 

The clatter of horses' hoofs added to the clamor 
in the streets. At quick, spirited walk, almost 
verging on the jog-trot, a little party of Union horse- 
men came riding towards head-quarters. Right and 
left the tlirong stood still and stared, though the 
sight of generals wearing the single star was no 
novelty. It was the superb form, face, and bearing 
of the young brigadier foremost in the array that 
riveted all eyes upon him and left but casual glance 
for the few staff-officers and orderlies who followed. 
Erect and graceful, manly strength and confidence 
in his pose, sitting his spirited horse like a centaur, 
his keen blue eyes gleaming from under the visor of 
his jaunty forage-cap, his uniform, evidently new, 
fitting him without a flaw, his yellow sash and gold- 


barred belt, his handsome sword, boots, and horse 
equipments, all the perfection of soldierly style, yet 
impressing no one vni\\ the idea of the soldier dandy, 
his handsome, clear-cut face bronzed by the hot Vir- 
ginia suns, his mouth concealed by the sweeping 
blond moustache — no wonder even rampant, rebel 
Baltimore stared and admired. AVith blanched, in- 
credulous face. Belle Heatherwood gazed, lost to all 
surroundings, forgetful utterly of the girl at her 
side, until suddenly recalled to herself and her friend 
by the piercing cry in which wild joy, amaze, un- 
belief, aye, even dread, were mingled. "Jack ! Jack ! 
Brother r' And then with outstretched arms poor 
Florence fell as though suddenly struck a mortal 
blow and hung lifeless over the sill of the open 

It w^as long before they could restore her. When 
at last consciousness returned, her father, too, was 
bending over her, and his stern, sad, rugged old face 
was piteous in its anxiety and distress. Almost her 
first words were, "Did you see — Jack?" 

"Hush, my darling!" he answered, brokenly, and 
the tears started to his eyes. "We have heard all 
about him. I wish to God it were my Jack. That 
was the Pennsylvania cavalry officer who won such 
fame, and his general's stars, on Stoneman's raid. 
His name is Grosvenor Belden. 


"Up from the South" in the long June days came 
the long gray columns of Lee. Less than a year had 
sped since, shattered, yet undismayed, they had re- 
coiled from the shadows of the blue Catoctins and 
retired to the old intrenchments of the Rappahan- 
nock, whence, triumphant and with self-confidence 
tenfold increased, after the bloody lessons given 
the Union arms at Fredericksburg and Chancellors- 
ville, once more they essayed the conquest of Mary- 
land and the dash at the Northern cities. Once more 
the daring advance guard bridged the Potomac, and 
the famous old lieutenants led their grimy corps 
through the streets of Hagerstown and on towards 
the lovely Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania, — .all 
sa^e one; Jackson, most daring of all, had crossed a 
still more shadowy river, and was resting forever 
under the shade of the trees. Xot yet had the 
knightly leader of the Southern host begun to realize 
the extent of his loss. There had been no general 
engagement since the grapple in the thickets south 
and west of the old Virginia hamlet. IN^ot yet had he 
fully realized another thing, — that the eyes of the 
latest commander of the Anny of the Potomac had 
been opened to the need for better use of the eyes of 

the army; that master hands had been reorganizing 
3-.' I 


tlie Union cavalry; that tlie sloths and fossils were 
being replaced by keen-witted troopere who knew 
their trade and were ready to ride, scout, and fight 
night or day, and were praying for no greater boon 
than a chance to match the "Cavaliers" of Stuart 
against the "Ironsides" of the I*^orth. John Buford, 
impatient of staff duty, rode at the head of one 
division, Kilpatrick and Gregg of the others, while 
gallant young soldiers had been chosen to step wp to 
the stars of the brigadier, and Merritt and Custer, 
boy captains but a day ago, donned the yellow sash, 
and regular and volunteer, their brigades hailed the 
new commanders with cheers of jjride and confi- 

At Beverly Ford and Brandy Station the troopers 
of the l^ortli and South fought their first battle 
royal, and Stuart saw how great a change had been 
wrought within the few months. Brainy men were 
now directing the blows of the Union horse, and 
brawny arms were delivering them, and for the first 
time in his war history the Virginian met his match 
and knew it. Yet, even at the moment when it 
da^vned upon the Southern commander that at last 
the Union had a cavalry force worth his considera- 
tion, and the Army of the Potomac was possessed of 
a right arm it lacked the year before, even when it 
was most likely they would need their own, did Lee 
and Stuart plan a separation. Even as the head of 
the Southern army of invasion came in view of 
Maryland Heights, while the Army of the Potomac, 


marching night and day, strove hard to interpose 
between the rebel battle-flags and the alarmed and 
threatened halls of government at AVashington, the 
screen of Stuart's cavalry slipped away from between 
the parallel columns, and, passing entirely around the 
rear of Hooker's hindmost brigade, went gayly away 
on a raid of its own that bore it close under the guns 
of Washington, and so on up through Maryland and 
Pennsylvania, lost to Lee for many a day when most 
he stood in need of it, only to return in time for the 
last hour's bitter work at Gettysburg and to be 
ground to earth and battered and slashed and sent 
whirling from the field, completely overmastered by 
Gregg and the Second Division, backed by Custer 
with the Michigan men. 

Yet changes had come in the Union horse that 
were not all for the better. A wail went up in many 
a camp when gallant "Grimes" Davis met his soldier 
fate, heading the dash at Beverly Ford. A growl of 
remonstrance rose from many a bearded throat when 
Belden accepted the yellow sash and silver stars and 
went to Washington, transferred to a new command. 
("Lost," said his trooper friends, "in the infantry.") 
Yet this was before young cavalry captains were 
getting their brigades, and Belden was wise. Furi- 
ous things old Foulweather was saying, as he led 
his regiment, the — th Regulars, on the march to 
Maryland, but when he read the order that made 
his junior (a captain of the Second) instead of him- 
self (a major of the — th) full brigadier-general, and 


assigned liim to tlie command of the regular brigade, 
the old fellow's wrath and misery were well-nigh 
complete. "They might as well kill me outright," 
said he to Treacy and Hamlin, who had heard the 
news with secret joy, "as to let me die by slow tor- 
ture and mortification as they are doing." And a 
far more serious matter was it beginning to prove 
than at first his brother ofiicers sujDposed. Envy, 
jealousy, disapjwinted ambition, hate, and heaven 
knows how many other things, were telling on the 
rugged old trooper, and as the brigade crossed the 
Potomac and reached the Maryland shore the sur- 
geon came to the commander. 

"Old Foulweather," said he, using the pet name so 
well known throughout the army, "is in the grasp 
of a high fever that may prove very serious. He 
should be sent at once to the nearest hospital." 

And so that very evening a yellow ambulance clat- 
tered up the towpath and turned in under Heather- 
wood Height, and the escorting troopers, three in 
number, asked for the doctor in charge of the field- 
hospital still maintained there for the benefit of the 
sick or possible wounded among the troops detailed 
to guard the canal and the many fords and ferries, 
and from the depths of the dust-covered vehicle they 
lifted as tenderly as possible a raging, raving, strug- 
gling old soldier who swore hideously at surgeon, 
steward, sergeant, and all, but was overpowered and 
borne to a shady, airy tent, and there almost forcibly 
put to bed. 


Three hours later, when, refreshed and rested, 
their horses fed, watered, and groomed, the escorting 
troopers would have taken the road to Frederick to 
rejoin their regiment, one of their number was miss- 
ing, and the sergeant inquired, after the manner of 
war-time troopers far and near, "Where 'n 'ell's 

To which answered the other words to the effect 
that "you ncA^er knew where Bell was 'cept in a fight, 
— then he was there P' 

Inquiry among the convalescents seated in the 
slanting sunshine watching the signal-flags waving 
on the westward heights evoked the information that 
a "feller" answering their description had gone up the 
path to Heathcrwood half an hour before, whereat 
the sergeant emulated his now prostrate commander 
and blasphemed vigorously. 

"That damned Beau," said he, "is more trouble 


than the rest of the troop put together just so soon 
as we get north of the Potomac. South of it he's all 
right. I might have known he'd be losing himself." 

"What'd you bring him for?" asked his subordi- 
nate, unfeelingly. 

"I didn't; the lieutenant sent him, and told me 
he knew the best road and all about the country, and 
now he's gone and we are ordered to be at Frederick 
to-night. — Who lives up yonder?" he abruptly 
asked an invalided sergeant hobbling by, and the 
volunteer stopped for a chat with the regular. 

"Family named Heatherwood, from Baltimore. 


House has been vacant for a long time until tins 
week. ISTow there's several people there, they say. 
The old hands here used to look after it and kept 
guard there, but there's only one or two of them left. 
They post sentries from that regiment over yonder 
up there every night now since the folks come back, 
and no one's allowed in or out." 

"Well, I'm going up," said the sergeant, stoutly. 
"I've lost a man, and they say he went up there. 
You watch the horses and traps, Jim," he called over 
his shoulder to the private trooper. "I'll be back 
in twenty minutes." 

Following the pathway through the leafy woods. 
Sergeant Black began the somewhat steep ascent 
among the trees until he emerged from them at the 
edge of a little sloping bench of cleared and once 
cultivated ground, beyond whicli stood the bams and 
enclosures, and beyond them certain weather-beaten 
sheds and a corn-crib. Not a soul was in sight, and 
after a moment's quiet reconnoissance and a long 
breath or two, the war-worn soldier pushed ahead, 
lie found the bam and barn-yard empty and the 
last vestige of forage gone. The storehouse, corn- 
crib, etc., had long since outlived their usefulness, 
every crumb or kernel having been devoured or 
SAvept away. Out in the orchard \h.e sun was throw- 
ing his last rays through the blossoming trees and 
gilding the old sun-dial and tipping the hedge and 
that relic of a fence with gold. The kitchen door 
was open, so was one that led to the cellar, and 


somewhere tliereabouts there was an occupant, for 
he heard the crooning sound of a darky song. War 
is the foe of conventionality, and, never stopping to 
knock, the soldier strode across the threshold. Here 
there were signs of life and action, for a brisk fire 
blazed in the stove, and pots and kettles gave forth 
the appetizing odor of a bounteous supper. Then 
from the depths of the cellar the darky song came 
crooning nigher, a woolly head, enveloped in glaring 
bandana, hove in sight up the mouldering stairs, and 
two staring, goggle eyes met his in evident disap- 

"I am looking for one of my men who came up 
here a few minutes " 

"I doan' know nuthin' 'bout your men," was the 
instant interruption of Aunt Chloe. ^Xord knows 
we'se had trouble 'nuf between the lot of 'em," yet, 
with odd inconsistency, added, ''Wha's he like, any- 

"Tall, fine-looking young fellow — handsome, I 
suppose you'd call him. Don't look like — most of 

"I ain't seen nuffin' handsome since Marse Fairfax 
and Marse Ralph, an' such gen'lemen, was wid us," 
was Aunt Chloe's almost disdainful answer. "Go 
long! You're only lookin' for somefin' to eat." 

But the sound of the colloquy had attracted others 
to the spot," — ^two others, — for the hall door sud- 
denly opened and, to the amaze of the trooper ser- 
geant, two young women, winsome, sweet, attrac- 


tive young women, prettily gowned, as even he 
could see, ladies, as he knew at a glance, stood there 
at the threshold, looking not unkindly down at him. 
In an instant off came his cap. 

"I beg your pardon," he faltered, "but I had to 
come up to inquire if anything had been seen of one 
of my men who wandered up here a while ago. It 
is time for us to be moving." 

''You are cavalry, are you not?" asked the nearest. 
"!N^o cavalry soldiers have been near here since we 
came a few days ago. We have infantry guards at 
night and some crippled soldiers whom my mother 
nursed long months ago. They are all out in front." 

"Thank you, miss. I'll hunt them up," began Ser- 
geant Black, backing towards the door. "I didn't 
mean to intrude." 

But it was Miss Ileatherwood's turn to inquire. 
TIalf-timidly she asked, "AVhat command — what 
regiment is yours?" and her soft eyes were full of 
interest, even of anxiety, as she spoke. 

" — th Regulars, miss. Major Foul weather was 
commanding. We've brought him here, sick, to the 
hospital below." 

And now a sudden flush leaped to the questioner's 
face. Then, though an eager light shone in her 
eyes, the color died away and left her pale. "What 
was he like — this — soldier? — what was his name?" 
she faltered. And in surprise, if, indeed, no other 
emotion moved her, the fair girl by her side looked 
suddenly, searchingly, into Miss Ileatherwood's face. 


"A tall, fine-looking fellow, miss, with blue eyes 
and handsome face, — Bell he calls himself." 

"Oh, no., no! — iSTo, indeed!" was the hurried 
answer. "I'm-^I'm sure no such person has been 
here; and I would know him. He has been here, 
you know. It was he who saved the gun the day 
Stuart's men so nearly got it." 

"The very man, miss. There's no better when it 
comes to fighting. But this isn't the first time we've 
lost him, and there'll be trouble if he leaves us now, 
when every man is needed." 

And still silently, searchingly. Miss Heather- 
wood's companion, a fair-haired, blue-eyed girl, 
whose garb told of recent mourning, gazed fixedly 
into Miss Heatherwood's face, and noted the signs of 
agitation there and in the rapid rise and fall of her 

Then with sudden effort, and as though conscious 
of scrutiny. Miss Heatherwood, despite her fluttering 
heart, rushed into eager question again. "Can you 
give us any news, sergeant? Can you tell us where 
Stuart has gone? or when we can get back to Balti- 
more? Secretary Stanton gave us permission to 
spend only three days here, and, when we tried to 
return, Stuart had cut the railway to Baltimore. 
The horses we hired at Frederick are gone, we don't 
know where. My mother has sent word of our 
plight to the commanding officer at the nearest camp, 
but no help has come, and my friend here. Miss 
Lowndes, should have joined her father in Wash- 


ington yesterday. We have sent our old negro ser- 
vant to Frederick to hire anything on wheels that 
will carry us, with one trunk, for mother's word was 
pledged to the general commanding at Balti- 
more " 

"Will the ladies ride in an ambulance, behind 
army mules?" was the sergeant's eager inquiry, as he 
stood buttoning his trooper jacket, hitherto thrown 
open at the throat and chest. "We have the ambu- 
lance that brought Major Foul weather. We can 
take you to Frederick, and then you can go by first 
train to Baltimore." 

"Oh, most gladly! most gratefully! Could you 
wait just a moment until I can tell my mother?" 
asked Miss Heatherwood. "We'll be ready almost 
any time you say, if she approve." 

And Sergeant Black said he would wait, indeed 
must wait, until he had found out about Bell, and 
with a scraping bow that, in its very awkwardness 
and spurry entangling of his dusty boots, was the 
acme of soldier devotion, he hastened past Aunt 
Chloe and around to the front of the house, where, 
dozing and chatting under the now dingy portico, 
were three or four of the old hands, men too reduced 
by camp ailments or long-unhealed wounds to be 
ordered back to the front, and of them he sought, 
all unsuccessfully, tidings of the missing trooper. 

Meantime, Miss Heatherwood had scurried up the 
back staircase, her companion more slowly follow- 
ing, and tapped lightly at the door of her mother's 


room. Grief, anxiety, and care had so told upon the 
aging, loving gentlewoman, that night or day, when- 
ever possible, sleep had been enjoined upon her as 
nature's best restorer, and never would they sud- 
denly arouse her. No answer came. Noiselessly 
the daughter opened the door and peered within. 
The bed was unoccupied, the lounge as well. The 
room was without a tenant. Hastily Miss Heather- 
wood searched the upper floor, calling "Mother!" as 
she did so, but without success. A shawl was miss- 
ing, and it was evident that while the girls were busy 
with their own affairs earlier in the long afternoon, 
the gentle mother had slipped quietly out of the 
house. A sudden light dawned on the daughter 
and shone in her brightening eyes. 

"Stay here, Florence, dear. I know where she's 
gone," she cried, her excitement manifest in the 
glowing cheeks, and, darting through the kitchen, 
she sped swiftly along a winding path through the 
shrubbery, down the slope to the north of the home- 
stead. Half-way down was a little arbor and rustic 
seat, once a favorite resort, but now dismantled, if 
not well-nigh ruined, and there, smiling through a 
veil of tears, her mother slowly rose to greet her, 
while a broad-shouldered form in dusty blue burst 
through the shrubbery beyond and fairly leaped out 
of sight in the shelter of the grove. 

That lovely June evening, an hour after sunset, 
the dust-covered ambulance drove away down the 
winding road escorted by Sergeant Black and a 


single trooper, the former mystified beyond expres- 
sion and unable to say a word. Miss Heatherwood 
had so eagerly accepted his offer to convoy the little 
party to Frederick that he expected similar alacrity 
on part of the mother, and was surprised at the 
length of time that elapsed before her appearance. 
Then her gentle, appealing voice and manner 
charmed him at once, as it did everybody, and the 
rough soldier stood respectfully attentive to her 
words. By this time he realized that this was the 
woman of whom so many a comrade, regular or 
volunteer, had spoken with blessing on his bearded 
lips. Gladly she availed herself of the offer, yet 
there was embarrassment, hesitancy, something- 
amiss, and at last, as the girls seemed to cling about 
her, she stepped with him through Chloe's oft-in- 
vaded sanctum, and he saw and they saw she had 
that to say to him which others should not hear. 

"I have a favor to ask you, sergeant. We can be 
ready to start in half an hour, if need be, but all the 
roads from Edward's Ferry towards Frederick would 
be crowded with marching columns. Delay will be 
inevitable. Trooper Bell is with you. AVill you 
tell him at once we are to go with you in your ambu- 
lance, and bid him ride ahead and notify my rela- 
tives, the Tighlmans, that we are coming? He 
knows their home." 

And then Black recalled the vague rumors he had 
heard in the troop about Beau Bell's long sojourn at 
this very spot, and knew that he must be another of 
Madam Heatherwood's grateful patients. 


"He shall go if I can find him," was the prompt 

"'You will find him," was the confident reply. 
"He was here to see me, bnt there are reasons why 
mj children, and she smiled fondly as she included 
Florence in the endearing word, "should not know 
of it to-night." 

Hastening back to the field-hospital, the sergeant 
found that Trooper Bell was there on hand as Mrs. 
Heatherwood had predicted. There was no time for 
rebuke. Bell received his instructions with evident 
surprise, but without a word. He quickly saddled, 
mounted, and rode away while the ambulance was 
being hitched. A tempting supper was set for Black 
and his comrade in the dining-room when they ar- 
rived, and, despite their soldier rations not so long 
before, they could not turn from Aunt Chloe's 
chicken and coffee. At eight they drove briskly 
away with their preciovis freight, not ten minutes 
before a lieutenant and a dozen men from the aque- 
duct guard came clambering up the westward slope. 
"Gone?" said the officer, in dismay, responding to 
the brief announcement of a crutch-propj)ed invalid. 
"Why, my God! I've just come with orders to see 
that they don't go! They're to be taken to Wash- 
ington under guard to-mon-ow." 

An hour later, plodding slowly along up the Mo- 
nocacy Valley, hemmed in, front and rear, by solid 
columns of dusty troopers, many of them sleeping 
in saddle, the occupants of the ambulance heard the 
oft repeated caution "Halt!" and for the twentieth 


time they stopped a moment before trundling on 
again. The open door-way of the uncouth vehicle 
was towards the southeast, and the horse of the 
squadron commander following dropped his weary 
head and rubbed his nose against the sill. Then a 
voice was heard to break the silence: "Lieutenant, 
ain't that a fire back yonder?" 

"More'n likely," w^as the weary answer. "Fires 
are frequent enough, God knows." 

Miss Heatherwood was supporting her mother's 
head upon her shoulder at the moment, but the latter 
was up in an instant, and together they edged to the 
door-way and gazed out into the night. 

Away to the south a dull-red glare was spreading 
over the horizon, and the southwest slope of Sugar 
Loaf gleamed through the blackness of the night, 
its jagged side aglow with the reflected blaze. Each 
moment the reflection grew stronger. Then, as 
though fresh flame had burst through wooden roof 
or wall, the rolling smoke cloud drifting eastward 
glowed with sudden force, and even the distant 
heights at Point of Kocks threw back the ruddy 
sheen. Then high aloft over the valley a pillar of 
fire soared into the southern sky, and from within 
the hooded wagon in his front the squadron leader 
heard a woman's sob and the half-stifled words, 
"^Mother, it's Heatherwood! Oh, I know it's 

And then, growlingly repeated down the column, 
came the same relentless order, — "Forward!" 


Fiercely over the smoke-crowned ridge tlie mid- 
day sun is beating down. Far as the eye can pene- 
trate the eddying, sulphurous mist to north or south, 
black-muzzled guns are rudely aligned, some along 
the relics of stone wall, now splintered in a hundred 
places, rent by solid shot and shell, some at the edge 
of the westward slope. There is a throb and concus- 
sion in every second borne on the heated air from 
across the low, flat valley, seamed diagonally by a 
broad, straight road, dotted towards the southward 
with two or three farm-houses of stone, all more or 
less shattered, and one of them — the nearest — 
ablaze. A cloud-bank of pale blue, perhaps a mile 
away, spans the valley at the west and extends from 
far down to the left away up to, around, and beyond 
a cluster of roofs and walls, of wood and stone, nest- 
ling in the heart of the northward valley. Here, 
there, and everywhere that opposite line of low- 
hanging smoke cloud is rent and torn from beyond 
by dazzling flashes of fire. The heavens give echo 
to incessant roar and thunder from the trembling 
earth. The quivering air is pierced by scores of 
shrieking demons that, unseen in their flight, come 
plunging like death-dealing meteors among the silent 

batteries, or bursting in mid-air, with flame and 


crash, into hissing fragments that tear their waj 
earthward or fly far over the fertile plateau that 
stretches away in graceful undulations until 
hemmed by the line of distant forest at the east. 
Only the week before this very spot was the scene of 
rural, peaceful beauty; this placid old Pennsylvania 
village drowsed in the summer sunshine tliroughout 
the long June day; the blue hills, stretching from 
Maryland away northeastward to the Susquehanna, 
framed the lovely picture towards the setting sun; 
the cattle browsed in the sloping fields in the long 
shadows of the leafy groves; the birds sang to 
heaven their pseans of rejoicing from morn till 
night; the cloud shadows sailed over waving fields 
of wheat and bearded rye, and deepened the dark- 
green foliage of the orchards; the farm boys whis- 
tled at their tasks, and around the tavern porch at 
eve the honest burghers told their tales of how last 
October they and the home guards sent the rebel 
raiders — Jeb Stuart's cavalry — "flyin' out of the 
valley and back to Virginia where they belonged." 
Yes, all Gettysburg believed it was the sight of the 
undaunted front of the local militia that bade the 
triumphant Southron pause in his mad career of de- 
struction, and history records the fact that not until 
his advance rode into sight of the steeple of the old 
Dutch church did Stuart turn and hark back full 
speed for the Potomac. But a different tale is being- 
told to-day. Stuart, once more riding and raiding 
through southern Pennsylvania, has passed far be- 


}^ond, gone awaj northward to the bridges of the 
Susquehanna by way of York on one side, while one- 
Jegged Ewell, with Jackson's old "foot cavalry," has 
trudged every inch of the way to Carlisle on the 
other; and June goes out with famous John Buford 
and his devoted troopers jogging through the now 
alarmed and bustling town, bent on seizing the roads 
to the west and on "lighting like the devil" to head 
off these advancing hosts, until Reynolds with the 
left wing of the army can come up to his aid. Two 
days of mortal grappling, of desperate hand to hand 
fighting, have turned the old town and all the fields 
and slopes, groves and orchards, into morgues or 
hospitals, and now at last has come the time for Lee's 
supreme effort. One after another, in assault after 
assault, Ewell, Hill, Hood, and Longstreet have been 
hurled back from the rocky flanks of that stem blue 
line; and now it recalls the old guard at Waterloo, 
for the great A^irginian, the idol of the Southern 
host, calls on Virginia to do what other States have 
failed to do. He sends Stuart, returned at this 
eleventh hour, to burst through the thin veil of cav- 
alry out on the Union right and sweep down upon 
the trains, reserve batteries, and the rear of the bat- 
tling line, while Pickett, with that glorious division 
of Virginians, held in leash until the very last, led 
in brigades by such knightly soldiers as Armistead, 
Garnett, and Kemper, and supported on the right 
and left by brigades and divisions less famous, per- 
haps, yet made up of fighting men under tried and 


skilful leaders, — Pickett is ordered to pierce that 
blue line at the centre, then sweep it from the crest. 

For two mortal hours, as preliminary, the fiercest 
cannonade ever heard on the "Western Continent has 
shaken the earth and rent the heavens. For two mor- 
tal hours a rain of bursting shells has poured upon the 
long, low ridge fringed by the Union guns. Provi- 
dence thus far has sided with the South, for the soft 
Avind from the northeast has banked the smoke down 
in the valley in front of the guns of Lee, blazing 
along a line two miles in length, while on the higher 
crest, where stand the Union batteries, it floats away, 
leaving them exposed to view. From the slopes be- 
hind their guns the Confederate generals can see 
the effect of their fire, and direct such changes in 
elevation as may be needed, while the Union guns 
have had only the smoke-bank at which to aim, yet 
their response has been deadly. AVise leaders have 
solved the meaning of this tremendous long-range 
battling, however. It is but the overture to a terri- 
ble drama soon to begin, and Hunt, chief of artillery 
of the Potomac army, has ridden along his flashing 
line ordering "Cease firing!" Ammunition must be 
saved, guns must cool, or there will be failure in the 
hour of greater need. 

And now, towards three o'clock of the hot July 
day, a silence ominous and forbidding has followed 
the furious clamor, a silence broken only by the low- 
toned words of command, or the moan of almost 
countless sufferers borne from among the guns to 


where the surgeons, red armed, ply knife and saw in^ 
the charnel pits at the rear. Havoc and destruction 
have reigned among the batteries. Here and there a 
shattered wheel or axle has dropped a cannon on 
the foremost line, but it is among the limbers and 
caissons at their back that the effects of the furious 
shelling is most apparent. Horses lie with stiffening, 
outstretched legs in bloody heaps, some few still 
madly plunging in their agony. Here and there a 
wreck of splinters tells where some ammunition- 
chest has exploded and wrought death and mutilation 
on every side. Mopping the black sweat from their 
swollen faces, brawny men in shirt sleeves have 
thrown themselves upon the ground among the guns, 
others are clustered sadly about some dying comrade, 
others kneel in soldier grief at the side of the dead. 
All along the line of the ridge behind the batteries, 
crowding into the rare intervals, battalions of in- 
fantry sorely reduced in numbers are lying prone to 
escape as much as possible the hissing fragments of 
the shells. Out in a little grove south of the still 
smoking guns of Gushing and Woodruff a new bri- 
gade has been stationed, and these Green Mountain 
boys take their baptism of fire with awe and wonder- 
ment; yet, confident of their leader's judgment, hold 
their ground like veterans. Away to the left on the 
rocky sides of the Round Tops there is a flutter of 
color over jagged ranks of dark blue, that promises 
the wearied line along the ridge that no enfilade can 
corae from that quarter, and the gray-clad bodies 


stiffening among the rocks in the gorges at their base, 
or among the trees of the curving heights at the 
north, tell how fierce was the Southern effort to force 
a way on both fianks, — and how ineffectual. In rear 
of the line are occasional groups of horsemen, though 
most ofiicers are dismounted, — common sense dic- 
tating where Confederate shells do not; yet there are 
generals and staft'-officers already again in saddle, 
sure of vigorous work ahead. Some have not dis- 
mounted at all, even in the storm of missiles; others 
are quietly mounting now, for the fury of the can- 
nonade is over, the fire is dying out. The great 
drama of the day is coming; it is time to reset the 

Hancock, superb as ever, rides among his faithful 
men and reins in his horse to say a word of cordial 
greeting to the heavily bearded brigade commander 
who, seated on an ammunition chest, is stoically sub- 
mitting to the reslinging and dressing of an arm 
severely lacerated in the fierce battling of the day 
before. A soldier every inch of him, despite his 
years of plodding at the law, Colonel Clark insists 
on his right and his ability to lead his men this vital 
day, though it may be months before he can again 
draw sword. Spurring uj) from the Round Tops 
another brigade commander, whose sash and stars 
have not yet known the tarnish of the battle smoke, 
eagerly accosts the famous leader of the Second 
Corps, and out goes Hancock's hand in welcome: 

"Belden, this is glorious! How did you reach us? 
Is vour brio-ade here?" 


"^N'ot Yct organized, general. I was doing duty in 
Baltimore, but got permission by telegraph to join, 
and rode out from Westminster this morninc."' 
Curious eyes following the new-comer mark how 
like to Hancock is the young general. "Just as 
though they were brothers with not ten years differ- 
ence in their ages," says Clark to himself, as, to- 
gether, the two stalwart soldiers ride away in search 
of General Meade, for Eelden comes to tender his 
sword and services in any capacity, and there is need, 
sore need, of every man the Union can throw into 
the fighting line, and the time is drawing nigh. 

Three o'clock, and now at last the Southern guns 
are still, and slowly, very slowly, the smoke veil 
drifts aside, goes sailing out of the valley into the 
opposite woods, and so the curtain rises on the last 
great act, of the last great day, — the climax of 
Gettysburg has come. 

Away down to the left, out beyond the orchard 
from which Sickles yesterday was driven with such 
heavy loss, a new division has moved silently for- 
ward, and as the smoke cloud lifts, and anxious, hag- 
gard, yet fiercely gleaming eyes peer forth to the dis- 
tant fields beyond the pike, in two long extended 
lines, five thousand soldiery in dingy gray can be dis- 
cerned, crouching or lying upon the shot-ploughed 
turf. Almost two-thirds of a mile in length in line of 
battle, five to six thinned regiments to each, are two 
brigades easily distinguishable by the bits of color 
where at regular intervals the St. Andrew's cross 


flutters on the dull red of the Southern battle-flags, 
and by the grouj)s of horses that, in rear of each com- 
mand, tell where regimental and brigade leaders are 
waiting with their few staff-officers the signal for 
action. Back of them, three hundred yards or so, a 
third brigade, also in long extended line, stretches 
from north to south. It is Pickett's magnificent di- 
vision, all Virginians, Kemper and Garnett com- 
manding the foremost line, Armistead the second, — 
gallant fellows, one and all. Only this morning 
have they reached the field, fresh and confident, — 
men who never yet have been denied when it came 
to headlong attack, and Lee has called on these, his 
"statesmen," his neighbors and friends, his kith and 
kin, to perforin the last supreme act of devotion, to 
charge and pierce that wearied Union line at its very 
centre, to burst through the barrier that blocks their 
march to the cities of the ISTorth, or to die in the 
desperate yet glorious effort. 

And that Pickett may have ample support in an 
assault that all men know must be hazardous in the 
extreme, and may be disastrous, Wilcox with his 
strong brigade is ordered to cover him on the right, 
the southern flank, and Wilcox at this moment it is 
who leads forward his lines from the skirt of the 
woods, from under the shelter of the guns set almost 
hub to hub along the opposite slope, and once clear 
of the batteries halts his command even farther back 
than Armistead, to await the movement of the Vir- 
ginians. On Pickett's left, or northern, flank, too. 


iie must have strong support, and here no less than 
six brigades, led by fellows who have already been 
fighting hard, are slowly pushed forward into one 
long line of battle whose front is covered by a heavy 
force of skirmishers that come well up to the pike 
and almost under the silent breastworks towards the 
northern flank of the Union position. These men 
are mainly Xorth Carolinians, Pettigrew com- 
manding, and it is their formation that reveals to 
keen-eyed Hancock and his alert subordinates that 
the main attack will come at the centre of the line, 
right out here at Ziegier's grove, directly in front, 
probably, of that protruding clump of trees where 
Stannard and his Green Mountain boys are kneeling, 
and here where Andy Webb's Pennsylvanians, back 
of the stone wall, are aligned in front of Cushing's 
guns. Only slender ranks are here to meet them, 
yet the whole western front of the Union line is 
threatened by the dispositions of Lee, and not until 
the attack is centred on some section of the crest is it 
safe to order one single regiment to move or leave its 
post in order to strengthen some other. 

Aye! There it comes, some unheard signal from 
across the vale, ]^o one can see Pickett's solemn 
farewell to Longstreet or read the grief and reluc- 
tance in that veteran's face. He cannot, will not, 
give assent to an assault he deems a hopeless sacrifice. 
It is Lee's order, and that is all sufficient. Down 
towards the pike are the smouldering ruins of an old 
farm-house and its outlying haystacks, the spot where 


Humphreys's line was so fiercely battling but the 
day before. There in heaps lie the swelling car- 
casses of Seely's horses, just where they dropped in 
rear of his heated guns, and beyond that scene of lire 
and carnage, and beyond the death-strewn pike, as 
one man Pickett's division springs to its feet and the 
next instant is seen to be in motion. Shimmering 
through the burning heat of the July sun, with the 
gleam of sloping muskets, the flutter of proudly 
carried banners, the rhythmic swing of marching- 
veterans, yonder comes a battle-picture that will live 
forever in the eyes of those who gazed this vital day, 
that will go down in history as the grandest pageant 
of an immortal struggle. Saluted by the guns on 
Little Round Top, almost instantly followed by 
many another along the Union lines, superbly indif- 
ferent to all, Pickett's Virginians, as though on 
division drill, begin their stately "jDassage of the 
lines," and in utter silence, in cadenced step despite 
the shells that burst above their devoted heads and 
shower them with whirring fragments, they pursue 
their chosen course. Steadily, aye, with almost dis- 
dainful deliberation, they move north towards Petti- 
grew's waiting ranks, and not until opposite the 
centre of the Union line do they form column of 
attack. Here Kemper, throwing out a strong veil of 
skirmishers, is seen to have halted. A broad gap 
begins to ya%vn between him and his comrade bri- 
gade, and into this gap, up from the rear, calm and 
unhurried, marches Armistead; and now, in the 


proud old order of attack tliey love so well and have 
essayed so often, the three brigades, their foremost 
regiments aligned, once more are given the word, 
and Pickett and his splendid legion are facing their 
soldier fate. Hearts beat hard and lips are com- 
pressed. No sound comes from the serried lines, but 
the remorseless tramp, tramp of near ten thousand, 
and the half-stifled groan with which some poor fel- 
low pitches heavily forward, or the awful, inde- 
scribable, crunching, crushing whish and whirr with 
which huge fragments of iron tear through the 
stern, solid ranks, rending flesh and bone, sweeping 
away files and sections, yet never checking the calm, 
steadfast, indomitable majesty of that matchless 
advance. "Good God, isn't it superb!" is the cry 
that goes ujd everywhere among the watchers at the 
Round Tops and the sheltered right; but along the 
stone walls and among the black-mouthed guns that 
line the threatened crest, grimy fellows in long ranks 
of blue grip tight their fresh-capped rifles and whis- 
per, "Remember Fredericksburg," 

And now Kem])er is across the pike and his right 
swings out to pass the flaming ruins at Cadori's, and 
as Armistead's men breast the low ridge of the road- 
Avay that crosses their front, and Garnett, too, comes 
sturdily tramping over, all the Union guns in front 
of them depress the muzzles, and canister is rammed 
home in place of shell. Another minute and that 
superb sacrifice will be within the range of the 
lighter missiles; but all of a sudden, to the wonder- 


ment of a wliole army, the division lialts in its tracks; 
Pickett finds it is heading a little south of the point 
he is ordered to probe, and right there on that open 
slope, deluged with shot and shell from guns that 
rake his ranks from right to left or hurl them in 
the very faces of his men, the Virginia leader dares 
to order, as though on drill, an oblique change of 
front, a sort of left half-wheel that brings Kemper's 
southern Hank almost agraze of the little grove 
wherein, still silent, Stannard holds his breathless 
Vernionters. Then once more, "ForAvard!" is 
sounded, and now may God be with the right! for 
despite the storm of shot and shell that has strewn 
their bloody path with dead and wounded, deter- 
mined, undaunted, magnificent in their disciplined 
daring and devotion, the brigades resume their grand 
advance, still so strong in numbers, so glorious in 
their faith in one another and in their leaders, that 
victory and triumph seeni perched upon their waving 
banners, and the thin blue line that spans the crest 
must burst asunder or be brushed away before the 
human flood. 

Once across the pike, the nimble skinnishers have 
been recalled and at the run go darting through the 
narrow intervals between the ranks. Over the dull 
gray undulating columns a dull gray cloud is hover- 
ing, half sulphur smoke from the bursting shells, half 
powdery dust from the sun-baked slope. Only four 
hundred yards away now. Already half the mounted 
officers are unhorsed, and Armistead, struggling 


from underneatli his stricken charger, leaps out in 
front as thongh to show his devoted men no shot can 
harm him, and with hat high lifted on liis sword- 
point, exulting, waves them on. "ForAvard! For- 
ward! Touch to the centre!" are the only orders. 
Not once does the iron discipline relax; not once 
does a subdivision halt to fire, even when Kem- 
per's leading battalions come abreast of Stannard's 
bristling grove, and to the furious barking of the 
double-shotted guns along the crest is added the 
sudden crash of musketry on the right. Even now, 
with company commanders, right guides, and dozens 
of gallant fellows tumbling to earth under the 
scorching ambuscade, even now the proud morale of 
the sons of that historic commonwealth is proof 
against the soldier impulse to wheel and volley into 
that death- jetting clump of timber. Edge away 
from it they must, for, remorseless still, the guns of 
Gushing tear huge gaps in the nearing front, and 
with every stride the advancing columns narrow. 
Gallant little Gushing! Mortally wounded though 
he knows himself to be, mortally wounded as is his 
devoted classmate. Woodruff, only two years out of 
West Point, they fight their guns to the very last and 
die like heroes at their post of duty. Three hundred 
yards, and still no quickening of the pace; still that 
steady, measured, inflexible advance. But now 
comes the test that tells. Webb, mindful of the tac- 
tics of Bunker Hill, has sternly held the fire of his 
Pennsylvanians, and at last he gives the word. 


Added to tlie sputtering crash of Stannard, a fierce 
volley bursts from the stone wall, and the gray ranks 
reel and stagger, the battle-flags are bowed one in- 
stant, and only one, for now at last the spell is 
broken, now at last the word is given, now at last the 
thrilling shout of "Charge!" is taken up and echoed 
throughout the column, and, yelling like demons, the 
Virginians break their stern array, and with levelled 
bayonets come dashing up the slope. Huge human 
wave, rolling, surging, sweeping, resistless it bursts 
and breaks upon the slim barrier at the edge, where 
despite blood-tipped bayonets, clubbed muskets, 
hurtling rocks, — every device of hand to hand com- 
bat, — the blue line is swallowed up and washed back- 
ward with the gray as over the wall it comes, and in 
among the smoking guns it rolls, while afar back 
across tha,t death-strewn valley mad cheers of joy 
and triumph rend the heavens and the mighty heart 
of Lee wells up in thanksgiving, for the colors of his 
beloved State are Avaving frantically over the cap- 
tured guns, — the grand assault of Pickett has pierced 
the Union line! 

O short-lived triumph! O bitter close to all that 
valiant effort! O cruel, fruitless sacrifice of priceless 
blood and treasure ! With half her number prostrate 
along the path or stricken here among the foe, Vir- 
ginia stands alone upon the summit won at such im- 
measurable cost. AVilcox has wandered with his bri- 
gade too far to the south and is out of supporting 
distance; Pettigrew's Xorth Carolinians have re- 


coiled before the defenders of the northward ridge, 
and the ringing chorus of victory that hails the sight 
of Pickett's battle-flags, waving on yonder flaming 
crest, proves but the knell of their defeat. Unsup- 
ported right and left, they are hemmed in now on 
three sides by cheering and exultant lines in blue. 
Hancock and Gibbon, sore wounded, have gone 
down before their rush; Webb's temple is seamed 
by their hissing lead; hundreds of gallant officers 
and devoted men are dying among the Union guns, 
but all to no purpose for the cause for which Vir- 
ginia battles. Every instant adds to the thronging 
numbers of her foes. One after another the wor- 
shipped battle-flags are dropping. One after another 
the beloved leaders are missed. Armistead falls 
dying on Cushing's body. Garnett is shot to death 
at the wall. Kemper, severel}'' wounded, is being 
borne by crouching comrades back down the 
smoking slope. Colonels, majors, and captains by 
scores are gone, and only a little remnant of the 
]iroud division hears the sternly shouted orders to 
surrender. They have done their best. Never in all 
the history of warfare did men dare or do more, but 
they are all exhausted now. Huddled together, 
leaderless, blind, panting in the hot, stifling smoke, 
surrounded on every side by hostile ranks, by 
bearded, blackened faces that even in the flame and 
fury of battle glow with admiration of such un- 
daunted heroism and soften with pity for such hap- 
less fate. It is all over. The cross of Saint Andrew, 


that waved so madly but a moment ago, droops de- 
fenceless now. One by one the rifle-stocks are lifted 
in mournful token of surrender, and, drifting back- 
ward from the slope, Pickett, broken-liearted, finds 
himself, with one lieutenant-colonel and a band of 
stragglers, all that is left of Virginia's grand division, 
— all that is left but a name that can never die. 

In the solemn joy that hovers over the Avorn and 
wearied lines on Cemetery Ridge this night there is 
no sound of cheer or triumph. Such victory costs 
too dear. At sunset a young Union general, bending 
over the dark, pallid, clear-cut face of a Virginia 
colonel, motions the attendant soldier to fall back. 

"In God's name, Fairfax," he murmurs, "why did 
you let yourself be taken? Do you not realize what 
is hanging over you?" 

For answer the prostrate officer draws from his 
holster his stained revolver, every chamber black 
and empty. "I had not a shot left — for myself. 
Your bullets would not hit me. It was the butt of a 
musket that knocked me senseless. I had hoped to 
die with my brave — my murdered boys." 



Baltimore again, and every hospital is thronged. 
Mid- July has come, and Lee has gone, once more per- 
mitted to retire nnharassed across the Potomac. 
Once more the Union lines are stretched along the 
canal, and a picket post is stationed on the height 
where towered stately Heatherwood, now a pile of 
blackened, melancholy ruins. Once more Bob 
Hamlin's troopers ride through the dusty lanes that, 
less than a year before, they traversed at top speed 
in chase of their Virginia foe, but no longer rages old 
Foulweather at the head of column. To the amaze 
of all he had turned up in time for the fierce battling 
of the second and third day, but shot and sabre-stroke 
have laid him low and left him, swearing still, a 
bandaged and bewildered invalid at Hanover. 
Treacy it is who commands, and Treacy who signs 
the report that tells of the splendid charge they made 
to hold the rebel right when Hood launched his col- 
umns at the Round Tops. 

"Again it is the duty of the regimental com- 
mander to refer to the gallant conduct of Trooper 
Bell" (Bob Hamlin writes it all), "for, v/hen tlie 
sergeant standard bearer was shot from his horse in 
the midst of the rebel line, it was Bell who rescued 

both, bearing the wounded sergeant to a place of 


safety, and then, standard in hand, rejoining in time 
for the second dash, in which he was unhorsed and 
seriously wounded, yet managed to toss the precious 
emblem to a comrade and eventually to crawl back 
to our lines." 

Again is Beau an impatient patient in the sur- 
geon's hands, transported, as are many of the 
wounded, to Baltimore. He recovers rapidly, for 
hard knocks seem to have no lasting effect on his 
vigorous constitution. He is up and hobbling about 
the tented enclosure in which so many comrades lie 
suffering through the long, hot days. Surgeons are 
few enough, and nurses sorely needed. Farther 
north, by hundreds, noble-hearted women crowd to 
the hospitals and press their services, but the bitter- 
ness of this bitterest of wars is heaviest here in the 
proud old Southern city, and many a stricken soldier 
longs in vain for the soothing touch of a woman's 
hand. Far to the front the able-bodied and the con- 
valescent must soon be hurried, but for the time the 
twin triumphs of Gettysburg and Vicksburg, told in 
thunder on the glorious Fourth to a rejoicing nation, 
seem to hold the hand of the Union leaders, as 
though reluctant further to smite so brave, so suffer- 
ing a foe. All through the hot July days, east and 
west, the columns of Meade and Grant are held in 
leash, as though the merciful, the tender-hearted 
Lincoln were stretching forth his hand imploring 
the erring children of the South to come to him that 
he might indeed bind up the nation's wounds and 


care for him who had borne the battle; for him, or 
the loved ones left to weep for the soldier who would 
never fight again. A paralysis of pity has swept over 
the armies of the Union, and made them powerless 
to follow np their victories. For weeks the cities 
swarm with slightly wounded or furloughed men, 
and provost-marshals cease to demand papers and 
passes through sheer fatigue. Back to the old 
familiar lines slowly march the war-worn veterans 
of Lee, a mournful remnant of the proud and 
triumphant array that swung so jubilantly north the 
month before, and there comes a fortnight in which 
even stern military justice seems forgotten, in which 
there is no longer thought on vengeance, a fortnight 
in which Floyd Fairfax lies within his guarded tent, 
visited by sympathetic friends, nursed by gentle 
hands, encouraged by more than one old comrade of 
the blue, before the Iron Secretary seems to realize 
that once again the spy of Ileatherwood, the escaped 
prisoner of Point of Kocks, the daring Virginian 
who had cheated the gallows almost under the 
shadow of his wing, is here again, a wounded leader 
of Pickett's legion, — here within his grasp. 

By this time, too, the Virginia colonel is quite 
able to reappear at the head of his men. A crashing 
blow of a gun butt on his uncovered head, a knee 
sorely wrenched by the frantic struggles of his dying 
horse disembowelled by a shell at the pike, make up 
the sum total of his casualties, and from these he is 
well-nigh recovered, but there can be no hope of ex- 


change. Heatlienvood and Tighlman have finally 
succeeded in effecting their transfer, for the South 
had far the best of it in prisoners after Fredericks- 
burg and Chancellorsville, but no such luck can be 
hoped for in the case of Fairfax. Even in the Union 
army there are men who tremble when they think of 
the fate that will surely be his the moment Stanton 
becomes aware of his recapture, and one of these is 
Belden. The draft riots in Xew York and other 
cities have called for the presence of many of the 
regiments of the Potomac army, and the new-made 
general, whose bravery and whose example were so 
conspicuous at the forefront among Gibbon's men, 
still finds himself without a command. Fort Mc- 
Henry and the post at Federal Hill are heavily garri- 
soned. A major-general of volunteers makes his head- 
quarters at Baltimore, while his command is mainly 
strung along the Potomac from Edward's Ferry to 
Cumberland, and to him has the young West Pointer 
been ordered to report for assignment to duty; but 
West Pointers are things that double-starred states- 
man holds in aversion ever since the day he was 
forced to listen to the comments of one of their num- 
ber upon an amateur attempt to attack a battery 
with a regiment in column of platform cars. He 
greets the new brigadier with cold civility, tells him 
to make himself at home at Barnum's until some- 
thing turns up, and dictates a newspaper editorial 
upon the prevalence of padded, pigeon-breasted 
graduates of the National Academy in the corridors 


of the hotels, while the heroic volunteers of all ranks 
are found only at the post of danger, — at the front. 
Meanwhile, the recruitment of the new regiments of 
Pennsylvanians that were to have formed Belden's 
brigade seems to have languished, and good honest 
burghers throughout the Keystone State believe the 
war is over and clamor for the return of the trooj^s 
already in the field. Belden writes vehement letters 
to Washington and Harrisburg, — to fossils at the 
War Department and to friends at court, — but with 
little effect at first, for the former are set against the 
detachment of young regulars to the command of 
vohinteers, where they speedily win distinction far 
above that accorded veteran bureau officers, whom 
they may soon outrank in the permanent establish- 
ment; and the latter seem to share the belief of all 
Bucks County that the South has never recovered 
from the drubbing it received on Pennsylvania soil 
at the hands of Pennsylvania men, and further en- 
rollment is unnecessary. They have good cause for 
pride in the valor of the sons of the Keystone State, 
God knows, for Meade was defending his own fire- 
side; for the grandest soldier of them all, though 
he would not take the command of an army divided 
against itself, died on the foremost fighting line, re- 
pelling the fierce onset of the first day on the soil of 
his native State ; for officers and men in scores from 
the lovely valleys of the Juniata, the Delaware, the 
Susquehanna, and the west slope of the Alleghanies 
laid down their lives in willing sacrifice for the sake 


of the Union and the glory of the old common- 
wealth; for it was Webb's Pennsylvanians who op- 
posed their sturdy front to Pickett's overwhelming 
rush, fighting like devils even when hurled back by 
weight of numbers. There were days when General 
Belden could have torn the stars from his shoulders 
and gone back to take command of his old squadron. 
There came a day when he would have done it, such 
was his wrath and indignation, but stars, straps, coat, 
and all were gone for a time, and the very devil was 
to pay in Baltimore ! 

Impatiently awaiting at Barnum's the coming of 
telegrams or letters in reply to his importunate de- 
mands; forbidden by the general orders of the AVar 
Department to visit Washington without permission 
previously obtained from the adjutant-general, who 
seemed to see stars too many as it was and refused 
to encounter more; forbidden by military regula- 
tions to leave his post of duty without ^vritten per- 
mission from the general in command, to whom he 
will not apply under any circumstances, the stalwart 
young soldier fumes and rages about the Monu- 
mental City, finding his only comfort or usefulness 
in visiting the wounded, among whom there are 
many officers whom he knows. His horses and 
equipments he keeps at the stable adjoining the great 
hotel. His aide-de-camp, an enthusiastic stripling 
of his own name and race, is quartered with him. 
His orderlies — one a veteran of the old regiment, the 
other a strapping volunteer — are billeted with the 


provost-gnard, and it becomes his daily custom to 
ride out to the camps and hospitals and to familiarize 
himself with such defences as there are. Men and 
women both look more than once at a fonn so grace- 
ful and commanding, and at a face so clear-cut, so 
handsome, so eloquent of soldier spirit and deter- 
mination. Within the week of his return after 
Gettysburg, General Belden is far better known by 
sight to every officer and man of the neighboring 
forts and camps, and to the populace of the city, than 
is his senior in rank, the commanding general, who 
is rarely seen outside his office or his temporary 

One soft evening in July, Belden has dismounted 
within a broad enclosure bounded by a high, un- 
painted picket-fence, and covered with the spreading 
canvas of a score of hospital tents. The walls are all 
looped up to permit free circulation of the air among 
the patients in their simple cots. The spreading 
tent-flies are propped high above each ridge-pole to 
shield the roof from the sun that blazes so hot at mid- 
day. The surgeon's quarters near the entrance, the 
guard tent on the opposite side, the entrance gate 
itself, and the store tents and dispensary are watched 
by pacing sentries, who halt and present arms as the 
little party enters. A young medical officer steps 
quickly forward to greet the distinguished arrival. 
A group of convalescents, reading newspapers or 
chatting together under a spreading a^vning, arise 
and stand attention, — a piece of soldier courtesy the 


young general acknowledges by lifting his forage- 
cap. Then stepping forward and extending a cordial 
hand to one or two of their number in whom he 
recognizes old soldiers of the regular cavalry, Belden 
seems to comprehend the entire gathering in the 
kindly look with which he accompanies his inquiries 
as to their improvement, their needs or mshes. It 
is while he is thus engaged, surrounded by the battle- 
scarred fellows, that a tall soldier, in natty, trim- 
fitting fatigue uniforai, who, sitting somewhat apart 
from the others, has been eagerly studying the pages 
of a i^ew York journal, but who, like the rest, had 
sprung to his feet, is now seen to slip quietly away 
and to walk rather rapidly, for a convalescent, around 
the corner of a neighboring tent, and there is lost to 

"Who was that?" asks the general. "I've seen 
him before, haven't I? He has the ear-marks of the 
dragoon about him." 

"Faith, sir," was the prompt, half-laughing reply 
of an Irish corporal, with the fond familiarity of 
that favored race, "the general has seen the likes of 
him every time he has looked in the glass since lie 
joined us at old Lar'mie, and small blame to him if 
he looked as aften as I'd dhrink his health! That's 
Beau Bell, sir, that the boys would be callin' Belden, 
for he's the best fighter in the ould regiment — that 
wasn't born Irish." 

"Bell, indeed!" is the smiling answer, as the gen- 
eral slips a generous greenback in the soldier's hand. 


"We all know liim, and I much want to see him. 
Tell him, will jou, Terry? I'll ask the surgeon to let 
you have a little outing this evening, lads, and the 
corporal has — the countersign," he adds, with a 
twinkle in his bright blue eyes, ''But remember, 
draw it mild, and no row with the police or patrols." 
So saying, he leaves them jubilant, the kindling eyes 
that follow his erect and graceful figure telling elo- 
quently the regard in which the soldiers hold him. 
Directing his steps to a portion of the enclosure de- 
voted to the officers, the general passes within an airy 
tent, then stops short almost at the threshold. It 
stands apart from the others. A sentry is posted 
at the front, another paces the little pathway not 
twenty feet away. The occupant is evidently a 
prisoner in more senses than one, yet at sight of Bel- 
den both sentries halt and present arms, and a tall, 
dark-bearded, dark-eyed patient, with gentleman 
stamped in every feature, rises slowly from his re- 
clining-chair. "Ah! Belden, this is kind of you," 
he says; then, turning at once to two visitors seated 
near him, "Mrs. Heatherwood, may I present Gen- 
eral Belden? — Miss Heatherwood," he adds; and 
then, with a backward glance at an officer in the uni- 
form and equipments of a lieutenant of infantry, 
"and Lieutenant Farnha.m, who has no wish to super- 
vise this interview, but, like the soldier he is, must 
obey his orders," whereat the young volunteer 
flushes, gratefully. Belden bows low and courte- 
ously, but Mrs. Heatherwood has risen before he can 


protest, and, coming forward with the same sweet 
manner and gentle voice that seem inseparable from 
her, holds forth her hand, exclaiming, "I am glad, 
indeed, to meet General Belden. There was a time 
when it seemed to be maintained that we had met 
before, and were old friends." 

"And is this « AVhy, what need to ask?" he 

says, with beaming eyes. "Of course, there can be 
but one Madam Heatherwood." And both his 
hands are clasping the slender fingers as he gazes 
into her pale, peaceful, tender face. "I do not know 
how many fellows have talked of you and blessed 
you, dear lady, and I envied them the knowing you. 
Who said we were old friends? I wish we were. I 
pray we may be," he goes on, impulsively, as he 
slowly releases her hand. 

"We ought to be," is the mournful answer, "yet it 
was far better for you that we had never met in the 
past. What a tale we have to tell you. General Bel- 
den! It was your name, if not your voice, that 
saved our home to us a few months at least. It is all 
in ruins now." 

"My name! my voice!" he cries, amazed, as he 
draws forward her camp-chair and aids her to her 
seat. "Why, this accords with some strange yarn I 
got from Washington, and then that uniform of 
mine that was found within your doors! What does 
it mean? How did it happen?" 

"That — I — cannot explain — now," she answers, 
hesitating, embarrassed. "Yet some day you shall 


know, if we all live until ^tliis cruel war is over,' as 
the song goes. Colonel Fairfax can best tell you 
how your name suppressed them — the cannoneers — 
the day that Stuart passed us by, — or my daughter, 
— for they heard it all. I was prostrate." 

"But not now," interposes Fairfax, in response to 
an appealing, upward glance from Miss Heather- 
wood's soft eyes, "'not now!" And without turning 
he indicates by a significant movement of the hand 
the officer of the guard, seated unhappily by. 

"Yes, the colonel is right," promj^tly chimes in 
Mrs. Heatherwood, "for we are limited to a call of 
fifteen minutes. Come to me, — indeed, I know you 
will if duties permit, — and you shall hear it all." 

"Then for the moment I will leave you," says Bel- 
den, promptly, his eyes glancing quickly from Fair- 
fax to the slender, silent girl. "You must have mat- 
ters to talk of " 

"We have, general, and may we not have your 
counsel?" replies Mrs. Heatherwood, as promptly. 
Then, throwing aside all reserve, she frankly speaks: 
"You have known Floyd Fairfax for years. You 
must know he can never have been a spy. You do 
know the accusation against him. I ask you, is it 
possible that a spy would risk the loss of his com- 
rades' respect by refusing to be safely borne away by 
them to rejoin his regiment in Virginia, simply be- 
cause he had given his word to an officer — just as he 
might to this gentleman here — that he would not 
attemjDt to escape from Heatherwood?" 


"I know the whole story, dear lady," answ^ers Bel- 
den, sadly. "But it is not what I believe, or what 
his old comrades believe, that weighs in this case. 
The evidence before that old court, he himself vn.ll 
tell you, is sufficient to convict, and, loyal as I am to 
my government and my flag, I wish to God he had 
never risked falling again into our hands." 

"Then you believe " 

"I believe Secretary Stanton to be implacable. 
Ah! no," he adds, mournfully, as she glances 
quickly, fearfully, first at Fairfax, then at him, as 
though she would say, in mercy do not let our kins- 
man hear such dreadful news, "it will do us no good 
to blind our eyes. Fairfax and I have talked it all 
over. It is nothing new to him. You still have 
warm and influential friends at Washington. Let 
me urge you to lose no time. See them or vTite them 
to be in readiness to act in mass on Stanton the in- 
stant he learns that Fairfax is here. In all his press- 
ure of care and duty the list of prisoners has not yet 
been read to him, but sooner or later some one, hope- 
ful of reward, will tell him, and then — - — " 

"Then what, general?" 

"Then his life will not be worth a penny." 

The impressive silence that follows, broken only 
by the convulsive sobbing of Miss Heatherwood, 
lasts but a moment. At the door of the tent appears 
a corporal of the guard. "The officer of the day's 
compliments. The fifteen minutes are up, sir;" then, 
"and the sentry says there's a man here to report to 
General Bclden." 


''Tell liim to wait/' is the brief answer, "Mrs. ! 
Heatherwood, you will let me see you to your car- 
riage?" adds Belden, gently. "We must respect the 
order, or even such brief privileges may be mth- 

Sobbing violently, Belle Ileatherwood has risen, 
her fair head bowed upon her bosom, her handker- 
chief, wet with her tears, close pressed to her face. 
The young officer of the guard, with twitching lips 
and blinking eyes, stands awkwardly by. On the 
narrow walk at the side of the tent, some unseen 
foot stirs roughly the gTavel, and a voice is heard: 
"Don't go; the general says wait." Then, more 
sharply, "Halt! I say," and the sound of quick foot- 
falls ceases. Paying no heed to what is transpiring 
without. Colonel Fairfax bends impulsively and 
throws his arm about the quivering form of the fair 
girl and presses one long kiss upon her brow. There 
is a moment of clasping hands and choking adieu, 
and then another voice. At the tent door stands 
a strange officer in the uniform of a captain; the 
gold cord on his trousers and the dark ground of his 
shoulder-straps announce him to be of the staff. 

"General Belden," he says, respectfully, extend- 
ing an official envelope. 

Belden whirls quickly upon him. "Ah! Captain 
Wallace, orders — for me?" 

"From the major-general commanding, sir. He 
goes to inspect the lines along the Potomac, to be 
gone a week, and is ordered by telegraph to leave 


you in command in his absence. There are instruc- 
tions affecting — this gentleman," he adds, uneasily, 
with a glance at Fairfax. 

Tearing open the despatches, Belden reads with 
paling face. Then both hands drop in helpless 

"Well, old man?" says Fairfax, a sad smile on 
his wan face, as he holds forth a long, slim, sine^vy 

"It has come, dear old friend," is the answer, with 
something very like a sob. "They order you to 
Federal Hill. They order me to be your jailer." 


Sad and anxious faces were seen on every side that 
hot July in Baltimore. The thrill of wild anticipa- 
tion, of coming triumph, with which was hailed the 
news that Lee once more had invaded the jSTorth 
gave place to a lethargy of despair. Many house- 
holds in Maryland were in mourning. Black was 
seen on every side in Baltimore. With fearful loss 
the daring army of the South had been driven from 
Pennsylvania, leaving behind it many a chivalrous 
leader and thousands of its best and bravest men. It 
was one thing for gentlemen to die in the battle 
front fighting for the cause they had espoused, — 
even in their agony of grief Southern wives and 
mothers found deep consolation in the thought, — 
but it was far different to see a loved and honored 
soldier of their faith threatened with a felon's death 
upon the scaffold. Baltimore went wild with grief 
and helpless rage over the stories spread on every 
side concerning Fairfax. Though still bedridden 
and enfeebled, he had been dragged, said rumor, 
from comparative comfort and a clean and airy tent, 
and despite unhealed wounds was thrust into a foul 
dungeon, the prey of rats and vermin, chained, like 
Bonnivard at Chillon, to a pillar below the level of 
the waters, denied food, raiment, the actual neces- 
sities of life, deprived of all means of communi- 


eating with friends, weighed down with cannon- 
balls and other. non-portables, subjected to daily and 
nightly torture, awakened every minute by brutal 
sentries if he slept. Just heaven! what didn't the 
women say and believe? Without warrant of law, 
without complete trial, as it was pointed out to 
them, even the Iron Secretary could not order his 
execution, and thereby were they convinced that 
since Stanton dared not hang his prisoner at once 
he meant to drive him mad or kill him by slow tor- 
ture. Even Southern sympathizers knew that if 
a military commission could complete the trial of 
the hapless Virginian, there was evidence enough 
on which to hang him. The question was. How 
soon could the court get to work and finish the case? 
How soon might not the impatient Secretary decide 
to settle the matter out of court? All Baltimore 
realized that Fairfax was in peril of his life, in 
danger of a shameful death; and even the contem- 
plation of the fact that gentlemen like Andre, pa- 
triots like Xathan Hale, and impulsive boys like 
Mumford had died for their principles at the rope's 
end, brought no consolation to the countless friends 
of the imprisoned soldier. 

Yet to the privileged observer Floyd Fairfax was 
a happier man than the Union general charged by 
War Department orders with the defence of Balti- 
more and the safe-keeping of the spy. So far from 
the former's being chained in a dungeon beneath 
the lapping waters, he had the run of a high and airy 



room, cool as anything could be under the blazing 
sun of late July in a Maryland town. He had ice in 
abundance, flowers in profusion, bath-tub, books, 
stationery, clean linen, an excellent physician, and at 
least one devoted friend, his old comrade, his 
new custodian, Grosvenor Belden. True, only these 
two were permitted to visit him, only such letters 
could reach him from without as were inspected by 
the commanding general, only such letters could he 
send as the general could certify did not convey more 
than the stem orders of the Secretary would counte- 
nance. Four days had elapsed since his transfer 
from the hospital camp, and in no wise physically 
had he suffered, while Belden raged at heart over 
the order which condemned him to such duty, even 
while Fairfax thanked heaven that it was Belden 
and no other who was charged with his safe-keeping. 
What sorrow and humiliation and |X)ssible indignity 
had not been spared him through this knightly foe 
and faithful friend who came by day and night to 
counsel and to cheer! To Fairfax Belden strove to 
hold out hope of kindly consideration of his plight. 
To himself, who alone knew the full tenor of the 
Secretary's instructions, he admitted no hope what- 

Another thing that gave him grave concern was 
the fact that his superior, the absent commander of 
the department, was ordered to hasten his return to 
liis post, and this meant that his, Belden's, charge 
could be but temporary, and all opportunity for 


ameliorating the lot of liis old comrade would be 
denied liim with the other's coming; for, like more 
than one creation of the war, both Xorth and South, 
the major-general, when at safe distance from the 
front, was tremendous in the blows he dealt the foe. 
Everything Belden could do through friends at 
Washington he had done, even to the rousing of 
Stanton's wrath against himself and a renewal of 
Stanton's warning that he'd have no more of this 
giving aid and comfort to the enemy. It wasn't 
enough that gentlemen should fight like Paladins in 
the field; there were statesmen, heaven save the 
mark! who would have had their soldiers trample 
on a prostrate foe, and smite, like jealous, raging 
women, the face uplifted to implore a victor's mercy. 
We had them l^orth and Soiith, — the men who bul- 
lied helpless wives and daughters in New Orleans, 
or starved and shot their captives in the stockades of 
Macon and Andersonville. 

It was a lovely Sunday evening. The soft breeze 
from the Chesapeake was drifting over the heated 
roofs of the city and cooling the faces of the throng- 
ing soldiery at the forts. Out on the ramparts 
swarmed the defenders, now that the sun had sunk 
below the western horizon, and the flags that all day 
long unfurled over Federal Hill and frowning Fort 
McIIenry had fluttered downward like gayly plum- 
aged birds to sleep until the coming of the morrow's 
sun. Through the heavily barred windows of his 
prison Floyd Fairfax looked out over a bustling 


yard, bounded by rude wooden barracks and dotted 
here and there with snowy canvas. North and 
south the view was just the same, — barracks, bayo- 
nets, blue-clad soldiery sauntering ever by, many 
looking at his gridironed casement with not unkindly 
interest in their unlifted eyes; some even venturing, 
half awkwardly, a shy salute. Of the city, the har- 
bor, the far green fields, the dancing waters of the 
bay, the distant forests, he could see nothing. Life 
was hemmed in, circumscribed, by the pitiless accom- 
paniments of war, and doubled sentries^ with mus- 
kets capped and bayonets fixed, paced beneath his 
curtainless windows, peered in, by order, every few 
minutes day and night, while others, supervised by 
an officer from his tent door not ten paces off, kept 
vigil at the entrance that was proof against all 
machinations or temptation. They were keepers of 
each other's honor as well as of the prisoner. There 
could be no buying an entire guard. There could 
be no possibility of escape. Even if Floyd Fairfax 
should evade their vigilance, every loop-hole of the 
fort was guarded, every approach picketed. Sentry 
after sentry would bar his way. One after another 
every scheme proposed in rebel Baltimore was given 
up as hopeless. Floyd Fairfax was doomed. 

Just as twilight settled down an open carriage, at 
sight of which guards and sentries stood rigidly at 
attention, came driving rapidly up the dusty road, 
whirled unhindered past the guard-house, and drew 
up in front of the prison door-way. Promptly the 


officer of the guard opened the carriage door and 
offered a white gloved hand to assist the tall young 
general officer to alight. Even then they noticed, 
officers and men, that Belden's face was graver, sad- 
der than before. Followed by the doctor who was 
driving with him and by an orderly who sprang, 
basket-laden, from the box, and escorted by the offi- 
cer of the guard, the little party entered and walked 
on through a corridor that resounded to their foot- 
steps. Presently out came the lieutenant, met at the 
threshold by his red-sashed superior, the officer of 
the day. 

"Thank God for small favors!" was the instant 
salutation of the junior. "We're to be relieved from 
jail watching anyhow. Orders have come to send 
him to Fort Lafayette." 

"You don't say so! When does he go?" 

"To-morrow some time. A guard is to come for 
him at reveille." 

Then sergeant looked to soldier, and soldier to his 
mate, and the faces showed that even then in the 
sympathy excited by the tidings there was greater 
sense of comfort and relief. The news went from 
group to group, from soldiers under arms and in 
equipments to fellows dawdling about the barracks 
in their sliirt sleeves, to others strolling townward on 
pass till tattoo, and there was quite a gathering at 
respectful distance when once again the young com- 
mander came striding forth, his forage-cap, as was 
his wont, pulled well down over his eyes. 


"Is it true, general?" asked tlie soldierly captain, 
whose red sash, crossed from shoulder to hip, be- 
spoke the oiRcer of the day. 

''Sadly true," said Belden, gravely. "Dr. Morrow 
remains with him awhile, but I have to drive to Mc- 
Henry. This weather is too hot for horseback exer- 
cise. The usual orders, captain. I'll be back later 

"The usual orders, lieutenant," said the senior to 
the officer of the guard. "It's our last night at this 
kind of work, thank God! All the more reason that 
it be thorough. See that your men understand their 
night orders. I shall begin questioning before taps." 

"The usual orders, sergeant," said the officer to 
the sergeant of the guard. "Instruct your reliefs 
thoroughly. I'll see to those on post." So saying, 
he turned to the nearest sentry, facing close before 
the prison door. "Your special orders, sir?" 

Facing his young superior, the soldier tossed his 
glittering musket across his body to the position of 
"arras port," and, going straight to the meat of his 
instructions, ignoring the array of general orders 
that every wartime sentry knew, he jumped, as 
directed, to those that met this especial case: 

"My special orders are to use the utmost vigilance 
in preventing the escape of the prisoner known as 
Fairfax, here confined; to permit no person to enter 
except the commanding general, the post comman- 
der, the officer of the day and guard, the medical 
officer, and the attendants they direct to accompany 


"From whom do you take orders?" 

"In general, only the commanding general, the 
post commander, the officers and non-commissioned 
officers of the guard, but no orders which may permit 
the prisoner to pass this door-way will be recognized 
except when given by the commanding general in 
person or by his superiors in presence of the post 

"No cross-questioning was needed. Only keen- 
witted, clear-headed men, the j)ick of a clean-cut 
American regiment, were chosen for this duty. The 
lieutenant found his flank sentries equally well in- 
structed, with the addition that bullet or bayonet or 
both were to be used should the prisoner seek egre^ 
by the ^vindows overlooking the sentry post. They 
were chatting in low tones, the officers and non-com- 
missioned officers of the guard, as to what was the 
purport of this move to Lafayette, "the Bastile of the 
North," the isolated fortress that stood at the nar- 
rows of Xew York harbor, when the doctor and the 
orderly came forth, and the former's eyes were wet. 

"Yes," he said, in answer to questioning glances. 
"There is a possibility that he may be removed before 
da^vn. The general has begged that the ignominy 
of fetters may not be enforced, and that he may send 
him around by sea instead of by the scorching rail- 
way. The 'Narragansett' sails at daylight, and the 
answer may be here any moment." 

"The basket was — all right, I suppose?" said the 
captain, dubiously. He could take no chances with 
Stanton at the head of thino"?. 


"Clean linen and the like," said the doctor, briefly. 
''You'll hardly doubt your general, I suppose?" 

"There are generals I might doubt," was the 
answer, "but not him," he added, as Belden's car- 
riage once more entered the gate-way just as the 
drums and fifes struck up the long, wailing prelude 
of tattoo. 

Preoccupied and sad, Belden passed his saluting 
comrades without a word, and spent ten minutes 
in the dimly lighted room. The sentry at the north- 
ward window said that Fairfax had been writing, 
and gave the general two letters, after which they 
clasped hands and talked in low tones. 

And even when the general came forth the New- 
Englander, the officer of the day, with the caution 
of his Connecticut training, sought further informa- 
tion at the fountain-head : 

"If the order should come, general, will you bring 
it, or haow?" 

"I shall come myself, sir," was the answer. "I 
have asked this favor, backed by the doctor's certifi- 
cate that a hot day's journey by rail might be fatal 
to a man just recovering from the blow of a clubbed 
musket on the brain, and the department will hold 
me responsible, doubtless, for his safe delivery 
aboard the 'Narragansett.' Xow, doctor, if you are 

The orderly sprang upon the box. The doctor 
stepped in by the general's side. The carriage drove 
rapidly .away. At Barnum's their inquiry was for 
teleg^rams. Two had come, brought from head-quar- 


ters but a moment before. The first announced that 
the major-general commanding would return by 
noon the following day. The second Belden read, 
then crushed in his hand^ wdiile a flush of indigna- 
tion leaped to his face and fire glowed in his honest, 
brave blue eyes. A moment later, like a caged tiger, 
he was pacing up and down his room, Dr. Morrow 
silently watching him. 

"Eead that!" exclaimed the young soldier, at last, 
as he tossed the crumpled paper to his friend. "It's 
as much as saying that I myself am attainted. By 
God, Dr. Morrow!" he continued, as he turned, with 
blazing eyes, upon the calm practitioner, "I'll fight 
for my flag as long and as hard as any man, but I'll 
be damned if I can be hired to kick a gallant soldier 
when he's down." 

"Quiet, quiet, general," was the surgeon's soothing 
reply, as he picked up the paper and slowly spread 
it out upon the table. "Walls have ears, key-holes 
eyes; chimneys, sofas, closets, corridors are packed 
with spies. That assertion of yours is enough to send 
you to Lafayette as well as Fairfax. Let's see what 
the Grand Panjandrum sayeth: 

" 'War Department, WAsniNGTOiT, July — , '63. 
" 'Gexeeal G. Belden, U.S.Y., 

" 'Temporarily Commanding, Baltimore, Mary- 
" 'Your request not favorably considered. The 
Secretary of War directs immediate and unhesitating 


compliance with his orders concerning the prisoner 
Fairfax.' Hum, So and So, Adjutant-General. 
ISI ow, my dear friend, to be frank with you, I am 
glad of this. You've been fretting yourself into a 
fever over Fairfax. You don't know it, but you're 
a sick man this minute. I've been watching you all 
day. Your pulse is rattling away as it never did 
under fire, and your temperature is at fever heat, 
nothing less. I\^ow, I can do what I couldn't do if 
Fairfax were to be sent by the 'Xarragansett,' — 
order you to bed, give you cooling and soothing 
medicine, and fetch you out in time for the duties of 
the morning. Come, lad," he added, soothingly, 
placing his hand on his commander patient's shoul- 
der, "I'm in earnest. No; you can't go to the 
Heatherwoods' to-night. You're going to bed at 
once. I'll send the messenger to Eutav/ Street, and 
will follow him as soon as I've got you to sleep." 

An hour later, like a tired child, the wearied, trou- 
bled soldier surrendered to the drowsy influences of 
the doctor's cooling, soothing draught, and Morrow 
tiptoed from the room. When Morrissey, the 
veteran orderly, stole in to get the general's boots 
and uniform to brush them for the coming day, the 
general was sleeping the sound sleep of exhaustion, 
and the faithful Irishman bent a long, wistful look 
upon the loved commander he had followed from 
the far frontier, and his hand trembled as, to the 
bundle of boots and clothing, he added the general's 
handsome sash and belt, his sword, forage-cap, and 


The patrol of the provost-guard, a little earlier 
that evening, had halted a tall soldier in the uniform 
of the cavalry, who was coming briskly down the hill 
from the direction of the convalescent camp. So far 
from showing annoyance or disquietude, as was often 
the case at such interruption, the soldier stood with 
confident mien and promptly presented his papers, 
standing rigidly at attention while the officer closely 
inspected them. There was no flaw. They were all 
in precise and regular form, — Private Lawrence 
Bell, Troop "C," — th U. S. Cavalry, a convalescent 
patient U. S. General Hospital, etc., etc., on recom- 
mendation of the chief surgeon was granted five 
days' furlough, with permission to visit relatives in 
Philadelphia; was to return to said hospital by 
9.30 P.M. on the 27th day of July, 1863, or be con- 
sidered a deserter. Said soldier was six feet two 
inches in height, blue eyes, fair hair, light com- 
plexion, and was by occupation a clerk, — -that occu- 
pation being the one almost invariably given by 
every enlisting soldier who had presumably known 
better days — but no trade. The furlough was signed 
by various officials, and was countersigned by the 

provost-marshal, so that for at least two or three 



days Trooper Bell was free to come and go, liis own 
master so long as lie behaved himself. 

"Where are you going now?" asked the officer. 

"To meet some old comrades, sir, down by Cam- 
den Station. They have a theatre pass till midnight; 
then I'll take the train to Philadelphia." The 
answer was prompt and respectful. 

"You have a long walk for a man recently 
wounded," said the lieutenant, still glancing over the 

"I'll take a cab, sir, at the square, if the lieutenant 
has no objection." 

"Oh, of course not. It's all right if you have 
money to throw away." 

"We never could save money in our regiment, sir," 
said the trooper, with a quiet smile that showed the 
strong white teeth underneath the drooping mous- 
tache, and lightened for a moment the tired, almost 
pathetic, look about the deef)-blue eyes. He received 
respectfully, yet mth an unconscious dignity of man- 
ner, the papers returned to him, saluted with punc- 
tilious deference, and then, though his fine face 
clouded with instant thought and anxiety as soon as 
he was free, went quietly on his way, followed by 
the regard of more than one pair of eyes in the 

"That man looks soldier enough to be a colonel 
any day," was the muttered comment of the lieu- 
tenant, "and I've seen him somewhere — in better 
clothes." Then the silent squad marched on. 


But the driver of the "waiting cab diverged from 
the route to Camden Station before he'd gone three- 
quarters of a mile, and as the city clocks were 
striking eleven, reined up in a side street near an 
o\)e\\ square. The soldier sprang forth, shot into a 
dark alley-way, and the cab whipjDed up again. In 
ten minutes it was back, its lamps gleaming opposite 
the end of the alley. A gate opened a few paces 
away, and a woman's voice, low, intense, prayerful, 
murmured, "I shall spend the hours on my knees. 
Oh, God speed, God bless you, my boy!" There was 
a lingering handclasp, but no response. 

"To the stable," was the muttered order, as Bell 
resumed his place, with a bulky parcel on his arm, 
and again the light vehicle darted away, this time 
turning sharp about and threading a course through 
the side streets, past shops and dwellings, dark or 
dimly lighted, until at last it hauled up at a corner 
in rear of some massive buildings, and Bell, bundle 
laden, stepped out, handed the driver a greenback, 
briefly said ''Good-night," and, wasting no further 
words, strode calmly and confidently into the door- 
way of a roomy stable, passed on to a harness-room 
at the rear, and there, polishing a pair of high boots 
and hissing away, trooper fashion, at his task, sat 

"Which?" muttered Bell, as he passed him by. 

"The second, the door av it's open on this side," 
was the Irishman's answer, and in a moment Bell's 
bundle was exchanged for one that lay in the depths 


of a closed carriage, standing with others under an 
open shed. A paved conrt-yard lay beyond, and 
farther still were the walls and windows of a biff 
hotel. Presently back came the tall trooper again. 

"Now, Morrissey, there's no time to lose. The 
doctor's gone probably. Run ujd to the room for ten 
minutes, and then, mind now, only three drinks, just 
enough, old boy, so that they can see it when jou 
order the carriage. No more till after you pick me 
up at the side entrance. Carrick will drive as usual, 
and you saddle while Carrick is hitching in." 

Together, bundle laden, the two soldiere passed 
by a rear stairway used by the servants only, up to 
the corridors of the old hotel. Morrissey softly en- 
tered the general's room ; Bell passed on to one a few 
steps beyond and locked the door behind him. 

Midnight and the bells of the city had ceased their 
solemn chiming. The roysterers among the various 
resorts along the wharves were scattering to their 
undesired roosts before the bayonets of the hated 
patrol. The dark shadows of the ugly brown bar- 
racks on the height were unrelieved by the light of 
a solitary lamp. Out on the northward slope a 
pacing sentry looked down upon the placid harbor, 
hemmed by gloomy fore-sts of masts and cordage, by 
black and frowning warehouses. The silent streets 
were outlined by dim, yellow dots of gas-lamps, and 
farther down the broadening estuary the surface of 
the waters sparkled with the faces of the myriad stars 
and the riding lights of the ships that lay at anchor, 


some within the point, others still farther beyond and 
under the bristling ramparts of Fort McHenry. 
There they floated, store-ships, transports, merchant- 
men, and, hovering close at hand, watching them 
like marine sheep-dogs, the few men-of-war, 
where, — 

" Here and there ii twinklin<j port reflected on the deep 
In many a wavy shadow showed their su.len guns asleep." 

^o breath of air was stirring. A belated watch 
striking eight bells aboard a distant bark, full two 
minutes after the dull booming of the city towers had 
ceased, sent his tinkling knell to the departed day, 
sweet, clear, and vibrant, quivering like silver string 
npon the night, and the dreaming sentry at the gate- 
Avay, his thoughts wandering far homeward to the 
hills of the Connecticut Valley, whirled about at the 
sudden crunch and sputter of horses' hoofs coming 
rapidly up the sharp incline, and his bayonet clashed 
with unusual menace as it came down to the charge, 
while stern and sharp the challenge rang out, "Who 
comes there?" 

'Trind wid the counthersign," responded a loud, 
jovial, yet thick Milesian voice, as the coming horse- 
man slackened speetl. 

"Halt! Dismount! Corporal of the guard, frind 
Avid the counthersign," responded the sentry, keen 
to the customs of war in like cases, yet, because of 
the interruption to his visions of home and loved 
ones, venting his spleen in mischievous and not un- 


recognizable imitation of the Celtic accent. "It's 
the general's orderly, Morrissey," he muttered, as the 
corporal came darting out of the guard tent, rifle in 
hand, to inspect the midnight intruder. 

"Boonesborough, and be damned to ye!" was Mor- 
rissey's intemperate response to the demand for the 
soldier credentials required by the regulations; "and 
I can lick the wooden clock-maker that masquerades 
there as a soldier on yon post. D'ye hear that, you?" 
and it was patent to the military eye and ear that 
the general's orderly had had a drop too much ; "an' 
I'd do it now if ye'd sthep out av your belts and onto 
the grass yonder, but that the gineral's jist behind. 
Turr'n out your gyard, ye lousy son av a wooden 

nutmeg " But the coming crash of hoofs and 

whirr of carriage-wheels put sudden end to his im- 
pudence. The senior officer of the guard came 
springing from his tent within the gate-way. Several 
of the guard seized their rifles, as though expectant 
of the order to fall in. The carriage reined up 
almost in their midst before the lieutenant had time 
to further question its exhilarated advance guard. 
The light of the guard lantern fell full on the clear- 
cut, soldierly face at the right window of the car- 
riage; on the forage-cap pulled down to the brows 
of the keen blue eyes; on the well known drooping 
moustache sweeping outward at the ends and the 
pointed imperial; on the muscular throat, with the 
velvet collar of the general officer; on the broad, 
square shoulders dotted by the glistening silver stars. 


"Fall in the guard!" shouted the sergeant at the 
sight, but there was instant protest in low, finn tone 
from the carriage window. 

"Xever mind the guard, sir. I do not wish to in- 
spect. Let my orderly ride in ahead, if you please, 
and keep the gate open a few minutes for me. He 
has given the countersign, I presume." 

The lantern was ^vithdrawn, the officers and the 
men stood at the salute as the carriage again moved 
on. There was another and briefer parley at the tent 
of the officer of the prison guard, and the sentries 
at the door-way of the rude wooden building in 
which Fairfax was confined faced outward and stood 
at the carry, while the well-known form of the hand- 
some young general emerged from the closed car- 
riage, halted one moment as though to assure the 
lieutenant, who hastened to join him, and then 
passed on into the dark interior, followed by the 
officer and his sergeant with the keys. 

In a moment these latter came forth and found 
Morrissey once more in saddle, and, consequently, 
even more independently truculent than if only in 
liquor, saying opprobrious things to the silent sen- 
tries about volunteers in general and Connecticut 
Yankees in particular. A general officer's orderly 
is a man of consequence, even though garbed as a 
private soldier, and while the lieutenant hastened 
away to notify the captain and officer of the day of 
the important arrival, the sergeant strove to smooth 
things over. "Any other Mick," he said next day, 


''I'd have flattened out witli the butt of mv gun, but 
General Belden's man was sacred." To the scandal 
of the sendee, after sarcastic reference to the war- 
riors at the outer gate, Trooper Morrissey had the 
hardihood to produce a flask from his saddle-bag 
and to take a long, gurgling pull at the contents by 
way of drinking health and better manners to his 
hearers, who, hailing from the land of steady habits 
and thrifty occupations, were a living reproach to so 
representative a son of the sod and of "the old 

"You'll be so drunk in ten minutes you'll tumble 
olf your horse, man," said the sergeant, in dismay. 
"The general can't help seeing you're half-seas over 
now. Hush! He's calling. — Yes, sir, I'll send him 
right in." But the tall, commanding form appeared 
at the door. 

"Morrissey, ride down to the wharf and see if the 
boat is in from the 'JSTarragansett,' and let me know 
at once." 

"Yis, gineral." And the Irishman, with impres- 
sive salute, clattered away to the gate. The officers 
of the day and guard were hastening together to the 
prison at the moment and heard the orderly as he 

"The general sent him to see if a boat was at the 
wharf from the 'jSTarragansett,' " was the sergeant's 

"Thank God!" said the junior officer again. 
"They've got some mercy for the poor fellow after 


all." On tiptoe the captain stepped witliiu the hall- 
way, but the door to Fairfax's room was again 
closed. A faint light gleamed through a crack at the 
sill, but he could hear or see nothing without stand- 
ing there and lifting the hinged shutter to the gi-ated 
aperture, and something told him that this was not 
appropriate in presence of the general commanding. 
Chatting in low tones, once more the officers stood 
together under the starlight. The sergeant spoke of 
the evident intoxication of the Irish orderly, and 
wondered that the general hadn't seen it. The 
driver explained, — the same who drove on the open 
carriage at dusk, — "Morrissey," said he, "is a char- 
acter. He was the general's orderly in his old regi- 
ment out on the plains, and he hasn't touched a drop 
for weeks, but he thinks almost as much of this ]\Ir. 
Fairfax as he does of the general. They were both 
his officers in the same regiment until Virginia 
seceded. Morrissey took a drink or two when the 
permission came to send Mr. Fairfax round by sea. 
Don't mind anything he says. He'll be sorry for it 
in the morning, and I'll look after him all right." 

"When'd the telegram come?" asked the captain. 

"I don't know, sir. Morrissey routed me out 
about an hour ago; said the general wanted the 
closed carriage at once. It'd just got there then, I 
reckon. What keeps 'em, d'you s'pose?" 

The officer of the day stepped round to the flank 
where the sentry was silently pacing. A faint light, 
but no sound, came from the barred window. Only 


by standing on a bench could lie look in, and this he 
shrank from doing. "I stepped up there, sir," said 
the sentry, "when I saw the light, but the general, 
he came to the window and told me never mind, he'd 
come with neAvs for the prisoner." 

]^ews, indeed! Starting from a troubled sleep at 
the touch of a hand upon his arm and the murmur 
of a voice, Floyd Fairfax gazed up eagerly at the 
dimly outlined form bending over his bed, and stam- 
mered, "Who-o-who says this? I do not understand. 
Who are you?" 

"Ask no questions, Fairfax," was the whispered 
answer. "Your life depends on it. Make no noise. 
I'm here to lead you to safety. Your friends are 
waiting for you barely ten miles away. My carriage 
is here at the door under a general's orders and es- 
cort. J^one dare stop it. Listen, I say," for the 
Virginian would have interrupted. "I must strike a 
light in a moment and you must hurry into your 
clothes. Xow, I warn you solemnly, not an exclama- 
tion, not a sound!" And with that the shadowy 
visitor turned to the table. A match scratched and 
sputtered. The blue flame feebly shone a moment; 
then clear and strong a yellow light spread over the 
curtainless room and revealed in outline the tall, 
stalwart figure of an officer in Union uniform. His 
waist was girt with the yellow sash and gold-barred 
belt of a general. From the bed came a gasp of in- 
credulity and amaze, but the stranger never turned. 
He lighted the candle. Then leaving it on the table 


SO that when he faced the astonished Virginian its 
beams would fall upon his back, he calmly twirled 
upon his heel and stood before the prisoner, erect, 
silent, almost stern. 

"Belden! Belden! In God's name, are you mad?" 
was the stifled cry, as Fairfax, with staring eyes, fell 
back upon his pillow, and now there was command in 
the stern low tone and uplifted hand. 

"Silence, man! and dress instantly! What you 
see your guards see, and believe," was the whisper. 
"Xow I have orders to give, but you get up at once." 

Yet when the general returned, having despatched 
Morrissey on his errand, Fairfax still sat like one in 
a daze^ a look of awe, if not almost of terror, on his 
face, for now the light, dim though it was, fell full 
on the features of the visitor as he re-entered. 
Shrinking back, the Virginian stared, speechless one 
moment, then came the words, — 

"Face and form you are Belden. Voice and car- 
riage you are not. Only one man I ever knew had 

your voice, and he In God's name, who are 

you, if not Jack Lowndes risen from the dead?" 

".lack Lowndes, whom you killed at Bull Bun, but 
forgot to bury," was the placid response. "Xow, will 
you dress, or go to Lafayette at reveille and be 
hanged as a spy the next day? Damnation, man, if 
you're not dressed in five minutes, I'll call my guards 
and pitch you into the carriage, neck and crop!" 

Just as the solemn bells of Baltimore were striking 
one, and in silvery, mellow tinkling the swarm of 


ships chimed their double strokes, there issued from 
the dark portal of the prison two tall and manly 
figures, the one on the right buttoned to the throat in 
the double-breasted frock of a general officer of the 
Union army, his belt, sash, and shoulder-straps 
gleaming in the light of the sergeant's lantern, the 
one on the left, leaning slightly on his conductor's 
arm, attired in worn Confederate gray. 

"I relieve you of your charge, gentlemen," said 
the former, in the same low, grave tones. "Captain, 
will you kindly assist Colonel Fairfax? That leg 
won't bear much weight as yet." 

"May I not thank you, gentlemen," said the Vir- 
ginian, with high-bred courtes}', as he took his seat, 
"for the consideration and kindness that you have 
shown me?" He extended his slim white hand. 
Captain and lieutenant both grasped and shook it, 
and wished him happier fortune. "Morrissey will 
return for the colonel's luggage in the morning," 
said the general. "He should be here now. Good- 
night, gentlemen." 

"Good-night, sir." And with these parting words 
the carriage whirled quickly towards the gate, and 
past the post of the main guard. Here there was a 
momentary halt and parley. 

"I beg pardon, general," said a voice; "I'm officer 
of the guard, sir; I'm afraid your orderly's been 
drinking. He's just tumbled oft" his horse, and I 
don't think he can mount again." 

"The scoundrel!" exclaimed the brigadier, impa- 


tiently. "Wliere is lie?" And Morrissej, limp and 
protesting, was lugged to tlie carriage door. 

"Sure, tlie gineral knows I can ride anything on 
four legs, drunk or sober," was his maudlin cry, and 
then his own long legs gave way under him. 

"Here, pitch him right in, sergeant! I've had to 
pull the old rascal tlirough many a scrape before. 
Give me the rein of his horse and give the horse a 
whack when we start, and he'll follow all right. Go 
on, driver. Lie still, there, Morrissey. Good-night." 
And so down the incline they sped to the silent street 
below, and away towards the deserted wharves. But 
the minute they were out of sight and hearing of 
the sentry-posts, Morrissey sprang up and began to 
squirm out of his trooper jacket, and the general 
spoke, — 

"Off with that uniform, Fairfax! Once more you 
don the Union blue, sir. Once more you've got to 
ride for your life in an old Second Cavalry saddle. 
Think of the night the Comanches chased you into 
camp on the Wichita, and ride like the wind for old 
Carrick's place — you remember it — out towards the 
Point. You'll be on the Eastern Shore, safe and 
sound, at daybreak." 

But still the Virginian hesitated. "One moment, 
Lowndes. You've learned your part and my past to 
perfection, — at Heatherwood, I suppose. What 
rank you hold, what name you bear on the Federal 
rolls, I cannot guess, but this night you're in 
masquerade as Belden. Give me your word that he 


will be in no wise involved, or by God! I go back 
to prison." 

"You can't. You're my prisoner. General Bel- 
den is sleeping in his bed, the doctor by his bedside. 
It will be proved he never left the room." 

"Then you and this gallant old friend and com- 
rade, Morrissey. Your honor as an officer — his 

"All that was officer in me was killed at Bull Run. 
As for Morrissey, nothing can be proved but that he 
was obeying the orders of the man everybody be- 
lieved to be the general commanding. A plain drunk 
is the extent of his offending, — a soldier sin he'd 
venture any day for a thousandth part of what this 
will net him." 

And still Fairfax hung back and strove to repel 
the eilorts of Morrissey to aid him out of his coat. 
"There's one thing more I've got to know, Lowndes," 
and the dull glare of a gas-lamp shining for a swift 
moment on his face showed the tension of his 
thought. "Before Bull Run I believed you stood — 
between me and my most cherished hope. What 
does it mean that you, a Union man, are daring, God 
only knows wdiat penalties, to save me?" 

"It means simply," answered his companion, 
slowly, as the carriage sped by the switch-lights of 
the railway, and jolted over rough, unpaved streets 
at the outskirts, "that no Union man who knows the 
truth would have you hanged as a spy. We tight 
in fair field, sir. You assumed that disguise for — a 
woman's sake, not for Virc^inia or the South." 


For another moment Fairfax could not speak, his 
voice failing him through the force of his emotion. 
"Words of further gratitude sprang to his lips, jet 
died there. At last, "Lowndes," he murmured, ''may 
God grant me life to show mv appreciation. I have 
misjudged you utterly. But if I should be 
killed " 

"You ivill be if you are not out of that dress and 
into this in five minutes. Your pass as orderly is in 
the right hand saddle-bag, the countersign is Boones- 
borough, in case you meet patrols, as you probably 
will. Quick now, you have to mount and we must 
leave you in a minute. Carrick's boat is waiting for 
you at the old bank; the Heatherwoods planned it 

And though the speaker's lips set tight as he fin- 
ished the words, he went on unflinchingly. Three 
minutes later the carriage stopped. 

"I can go no farther, sir, without danger of being 
heard by the guard at the cross-roads," murmured 
the driver. 

The occupants stepped out upon the dusty side 
street. Away to the northward, behind them, a dull 
glow in the sky and the dim lights underneath 
marked the site of the city. Around them were 
open fields and scattered houses. Quickly Morrissey, 
as he would have done of old, brushed the dust from 
the saddle of the wondering horse, then held the 
mud-flecked hood of the stirrup. Slowly, painfully 
the tall Virginian swung into saddle, and sat there, 


attired from top to waist in tlie uniform of the Union 
trooper, and liis dull gray trousers, thrust into long 
boots, would hardly be distinguishable at night from 
dusty blue. Around his waist Mon-issey clasped the 
sabre-belt. ''Lord love ye, sorr, I was niver a finer- 
looking arrderly meself , even when I sthrutted in the 
thraeks of Colonel Lee." 

A hand-clasp and hearty shake to the sympathetic 
Irishman, and then, drawing off the gauntlet, Fair- 
fax bent down to the other side. 

"Lo^vndes," he murmured, as his slim hand was 
somewhat loosely clasped, "there is something yet I 
must ask, something I cannot fathom, — What has 
Miss Heatherwood to do with this — infinite service 
you are doing for me?" 

And the answer came with but a moment's delay: 
"Pretty much everything. Remember now, you are 
riding for her sake." 


The devil to pay in Baltimore, indeed! The sun- 
rise guns had hardly boomed from Federal Hill and 
Fort McHenry, when General Belden, accompanied 
by his aide-de-camp, who looked somehow as though 
he'd been up all night, — which it subsequently tran- 
spired he had, j^laying poker with a jovial coterie of 
junior officers not a block away from Barnum's, — 
and followed by an orderly and a closed carriage, in 
which sat Dr. Morrow, rode j)ast the saluting guard 
and in among the barracks, and looked surprised to 
see no sentries at the j^rison. 

"Where are your men?" he briefly asked the cap- 
tain who hurried to his side. 

"Why, we took 'em off, sir. I didn't suppose they 
were to be kept on after the prisoner was removed." 

"Prisoner removed! What do you mean?" 

The captain turned various colors. Was it pos- 
sible that Morrissey's whiskey had befuddled the 
general too. 

"Colonel Fairfax was the only prisoner in there, 
sir, and you took him away at one o'clock." 

Belden was off his horse in an instant. "/ take 
him off! Man alive, you're dreaming! I haven't 
been here since ten o'clock last night." And he 
sprang up the stej^s and into the dark hall-way. For 



a moment the officer of the day seemed stricken 
dumb; then lie shouted for his lieutenant and the 
sergeant of the guard, who came on the run, just as 
Belden reappeared, pale as a sheet, his cap off, the 
perspiration starting from his brow. "Quick!" he 
ordered. "Tell me what you mean? When? 
How ?" 

"Why, General Belden, I'm not dreaming," cried 
the officer. "These gentlemen were with me. They 
know. They'll corroborate what I say. It was you, 
sir, came with a carriage just like this, and Morrissey 
— only Morrisscy had been drinking. Surely you 
remember, sir. You were dressed exactly as you are 
now. You had the same carriage, but a different 
driver. You know, lieutenant. You saw it, ser- 
geant." And with consternation in their faces, the 
subordinates murmured assent. Morrow had sprung 
from the carriage and was standing, actually trem- 
bling, by the general's side; the latter stood appar- 
ently stunned. 

"Do you mean he's gone?" gasped the doctor. 

"j\Iy God! sir, I mean the general himself came 
and got him, — the only man who could take him 
came and got him," moaned the Connecticut officer, 
gazing from one to another, as though ready to be- 
lieve himself the victim of some foul conspiracy 
against the government. 

"And he had this carriage — and Morrissey?" 
cross-questioned the doctor. 

"Yes, sir, this very one." 


Morrow looked to the driver, wlio sat wondering 
and embarrassed, flicking witli liis whip-lash at the 
flies alighting on his horse's twitching flanks. 

"It was out, sir, till nearly three o'clock, Carrick 
driving. 'Twas all covered with mud when I was 
called this morning. It took four niggers twenty 
minutes to clean it. Morrissey wasn't to be found 

Five minutes more and the general was spurring 
to head-quarters. In half an hour telegrams were 
flashing to Washington. By six the provost-guard 
was searching high and low, and secret service men 
were boarding every boat and train. Morrissey, 
limp and bedraggled, was hauled from the stable 
loft, half dazed wdtli whiskey, yet loudly damning 
everybody for disturbing his rest after he'd "been out 
wid the gineral half the night." "Where's me 
haarse? Shure the gineral let him go, afther he'd 
ordered me to dismount and get inside, breaking the 
heart av me that had taught him all the cavalry 
tricks he ever knew, Who was wid us? Xobody 
but jist Loot'nant Fairfax takin' a ride wid his ould 
frinds till I went to slape and niver knew nothing- 
till we got back to Barnum's, and the gineral went to 
his room an' I followed to get his boots and clothes. 
Xo man can say I was dhrunk when I could tind to 
all me jewties like that." 

Worse and more bewildering grew the situation as 
the morning wore on. Morrow declared that, re- 
turning from a visit to friends at midnight, he 


peeped in at his patient and found him soundly sleep- 
ing; that again he visited the room at one and at 
two, and there the general lay like a tired child. Yet 
hotel employes declared that only a few minutes 
before twelve, in complete uniform, with sash, belt, 
and sword, the general had descended to the ladies' 
parlor, and had then taken Carrick's carriage at the 
side entrance. The night watchman declared that 
shortly before three the general returned by the same 
route and went up to the third floor, Morrissey 
lurching after him, but without the cap and jacket, 
belt and sword with which he started. He wore in- 
stead a flannel blouse and a battered hat, and was 
plainly drunk. The general seemed angered at him, 
yet permitted him to follow to his room. Towards 
four o'clock the watchman saw another soldier, who 
had been with Morrissey earlier, go down the back 
stairs with him from the servants' quarters, where 
the orderly had a little sleeping-room. This other 
seemed trying to help the Irishman to the stable, and 
that was all. 

At noon there came officials from Washington to 
conduct investigations. At 12.30 the major-general 
returned from the West and was closeted with the 
new-comers, while Belden, still half dazed and all 
distress and apprehension, paced in restless misery 
the adjoining room. At one o'clock all Baltimore 
was athrill with the news that during the night Colo- 
nel Fairfax had been released from prison by 
General Belden himself, and at two that Belden was 


in turn a prisoner. Other Union generals accused 
of disloyalty liad languished without trial, one, at 
least, at Lafayette, — why not Belden? Twice before 
had he incurred the suspicions of the AVar Secretary, 
and no amount of heroic service in the field seemed 
to counterbalance the attaint of lukewarm patriotism 
at the rear. Small wonder, either, with treason 
stalking unrebuked throughout the streets of 
Northern cities, preached by more than one paper in 
many a State, practised by mobs of foreign-born citi- 
zens and spread far and wide through the venom of 
the copperhead. Harassed as he was, front, flank, 
and rear; prejudiced as he had grown to be through 
reports of Belden's previous record, — his altercation 
with that sturdy patriot Foulweather; his old com- 
radeship with Stuart, Fitz Lee, Hood, and Fairfax; 
his early teachings in the old regiment under Sidney 
Johnston and liobert E. Lee; his alleged intimacy 
with the Heatherwoods; his avowed sympathy with 
Fairfax and persistent efforts in his behalf, — these 
were enough to poison the mind of milder men than 
Stanton. And when soon after one the despatch 
reached him over the wires that the returned major- 
general considered the evidence against Belden such 
as demanded immediate arrest, the order flashed back 
instanter. At three that afternoon, overwhelmed 
with consternation and dismay. General Grosvenor 
Belden was shut in a close room at head-quarters, 
Avith bristling bayonets at the doors, no arrest on 
honor being deemed sufficient in his case. The Con- 


necticut officers, deprived of tlieii- swords, were con- 
fined to their tents as possible accomplices. Dr. Mor- 
row, shadowed by secret service men, was fuming 
about the hotel and head-quarters, protesting against 
the whole affair, and swearing that Belden had never 
left his bed from 10.30 until dawn; and Morrissey, 
also swearing, but after the manner of a pirate, and 
fighting like a mad man, was lugged to the guard- 
house, ''a thing of shreds and patches." 

''All this on or about the 25th day of July, 1863, 
in or about the city of Baltimore, Maryland," as the 
laboriously drawn specifications later said. Then, 
away down along the south shore of the Patapsco was 
found that very morning a riderless horse with the 
government brand and cavalry equipments, an or- 
derly's pass for one, Trooper Morrissey, in the off 
saddle-bag, which receptacle was half-full of soldier 
traps, including a flask of portentous size, itself half- 
full of whiskey. "Timothy" was grazing contentedly 
by the roadside when gathered in by a Maryland 
farmer, whose face was guileless as he answered the 
sharp questions of the swift-coming scouts. A 
famous place for oyster-boats were the flats of the 
Chesapeake, despite the fact that July was not the 
famous month for oysters, and the "ISTarragansett" 
ploughed her way through quite a fleet of sails after 
she weighed anchor in the early morning. The soft 
bosom of the bay was dotted by peaceable craft in 
dozens, for crabbing was good and so were clams, 
and old man Carrick's fishing-place seemed to have 


been alive at a very earlv hour that morning, too, 
for when the scouts came galloping thither between 
six and seven and asking eagerly whether he had 
fitted out any parties that morning, Carrick was fain 
to admit that there were ''no less than three come 
down before sun up." His boys had them somewhere 
along shore now; but Carrick didn't say for whom 
was engaged his best boat and oars and oarsmen two 
days ahead, or who came trotting thither in the dark 
hours before the dawn and was out of a Yankee uni- 
form and into a Secesli coat before you could say 
Jack Robinson. That uniform, weighted with 
stones, was dropped overboard when the little craft 
was half-way over towards Sparrows' Point. 
Another, a worn Confederate gray coat, was loaded 
with railway spikes and pitched over the bridge rail 
by ]\Iorrissey on the homeward way, after which the 
carriage had rolled swiftly back to Barnum's. Spar- 
rows' was a point on the northeast side of the bay, 
and while two lusty oarsmen pulled silently out over 
the dark watei*s, keeping well away from the riding 
lights of many a shadowy hull, yet peering eagerly 
through the faint mists that rose from the placid sur- 
face, the old man blessed the stars that had given 
him such plucky sons, and led the wondering cavalry 
horse well out ujjon the roadway, headed him for 
the dull glow above the westward city, and, with a 
resounding thwack or two across his outraged 
haunches, sent him clattering homeward. Long be- 
fore the "Narragansett" left a streak of foam between 



the old fishing-pier and the glowing eastern sky, the 
boys were back and ready to take folks a-fishing 
should they come, — as speedily they did, — and he 
who had been their passenger was safely under 
hatches on a little coasting schooner, far over 
towards that dreamy, sleepy, old-fashioned region, 
low lying across the Chesapeake, and known as the 
"Eastern Shore." Easier was it to find a needle in a 
haystack than an escaped Confederate when once he 
reached the drowsy confines of Kent, Queen Anne, 
or Talbot. 

That Colonel Fairfax had been aided by the con- 
certed action of many friends in Baltimore was of 
course the prompt conviction of all the Union offi- 
cers. That Belden could have lent himself to the 
plot was readily believed by quite a number who had 
no previous knowledge of the man, of the old army, 
or of the customs of war. The major-general com- 
manding had no doubts whatever, and sneered at 
those who ventured to entertain them. The men 
who knew Belden and believed in him were either 
at the distant front, where they belonged, or 
languishing from wounds in far-away homes or hos- 
pitals. For forty-eight hours the papers were full of 
exciting detail, and their editorials of denunciation 
and dismay consequent upon this new exhibition 
of treason in the camp. For forty-eight hours the 
name of Belden was held up to execration all over 
the ^orth, and that of Fairfax as a triple-turned 
spy and traitor. For forty-eight hours the secret 


service officials swarmed about the homes of many 
a prominent family in Baltimore, and once more the 
Ileatherwoods were forbidden to leave their doors. 
For forty-eight hours loving hearts were praying 
fervently for further tidings that should have come, 
signalled or sent through that mysterious agency 
that proved so subtle and so strong throughout the 
long four years, yet seemed to falter now. For forty- 
eight hours at a dozen hearthstones in the old 
Southern city there dwelt an agony of suspense, for 
the news so prayed for came not. They whose joy 
had overflowed at the whispered tidings of the escape 
now clung to one another shuddering at the vigor of 
the pursuit, the energy and wrath of the Union 
leaders, and the probability that prompt action had 
defeated their well-laid plans and cut off the fugi- 
tive's retreat. For forty-eight hours no one entered 
the Heatherwood house except on government busi- 
ness or by military authority, not even "the butcher, 
the baker, and the candle-stick maker," and three 
unhappy Avomen kept their rooms in the second story 
or gathered for comfort and support by the couch of 
the gentle mother who seemed at last to have lost 
hope and courage and to have broken down. By her 
side knelt her daughter, pallid, silent, tearless. At 
the window, watching, cat-like, the passers-by and 
the little groups that, despite the orders of police 
and patrols, would gather and stare, Laura Waddell, 
with blazing eyes and burning cheeks, knelt for 
hours at a time. A light in an opposite dormer-win- 


dow by night, a shade withdrawn by day, would 
mean that Fairfax had reached in safety the farm- 
house of some trusted friends, by whom he would 
be safely hidden until opportunity came of slipping 
over into Virginia again beyond the Union lines. 
But the longed-for signal was not shown. Once a 
sad, white face appeared at a lower window just at 
the gloaming of the second day, and Laura started 
nervously, eagerly, yet with her hand warned Belle 
away. Only a mournful shake of the head answered 
the appealing gaze from the windows of Mrs. 
Ileatherwood's room. There was no news of Fairfax, 
and, had all been Avell, they should have heard full 
thirty-six houi-s before. It w^as then that Miss 
HeatherAvood, too, seemed to break down under the 
strain, and, throwing herself on her knees at her 
mother's side, burst into a passion of tears. 

"Mother! Mother!" she cried; "I must know 
what it means! I cannot bear such mystery. Who 
aided him to escape? AVho released him from his 
prison? You know, and you are hiding it from me. 
I must know. Is Jack alive? Was it Jack? Mother, 
mother, in mercy tell me," she sobbed aloud. 
"Where is he? Why do I never hear of him now?" 

And drawing the weeping girl to her heart, her 
own eyes welling over, her pale lips quivering with 
grief, Mrs. Heatherwood could only answer, "Belle, 
my child, I wish I did know, I wish I could tell. 
Just now, even more than news of Floyd, whom I 
l)elieve to be safe, I would welcome news from 


And that night at 9.30 the officer of the guard 
sat in his tent, overhauled the few jDasses, and in- 
spected the few men who had been permitted to 
leave the enclosure for an evening stroll, and the 
sergeant checked off the names on the list and sent 
the returning convalescents to their tents. The half- 
hour passed and the gates were swinging to when the 
lieutenant lifted up his head and voice. "Hold on a 
moment there!" he said; "there's a man short. Oh! 
Bell's the name. He was due here at 9.30. Five 
days' furlough. Hasn't he come in?" 

"j^o sign of him vet, sir," was the prompt reply. 

"Very well, close the gates. He may turn up 
within the hour. I'll give him a little leeway, any- 
how, — trains may be late." 

But the night wore on without him. Another 
morning flamed on the eastward sky. Again the dis- 
tant boom from Federal Hill saluted the rising sun, 
and far and near the first notes of the reveille called 
the soldiers to the duties of another day. Forty- 
eight hours, lacking but a few minutes, had passed 
since the discovery that Colonel Fairfax had been 
stolen from his guard, and now opposite the name 
of Trooper Bell on the report submitted for the sig- 
nature of the surgeon in charge was the single word, 



"Philadelphia, July 27, 1863. 
"Mr. George Lowndes, 

"Willard's Hotel, Washington, D. C: 

"Dear Sir and Sire, — This letter will not startle 
jou as it might have done two years ago, because at 
that time you believed my troubles — and yours on 
my account — safely ended. Since then, however, 
thanks to Colonel Clark, you have felt constrained 
to renew your search for the missing papers, if not 
for the missing son, whom, but for the doubt as to 
those documents, you would have been well content 
to know was buried. 

"So far as you were concerned, it was my intention 
that that son should be, for all time, dead. His 
name, his rank, and something, at least, of his past 
were buried at Bull Run, and you would never again 
have been troubled by his ghost (and the words with 
which you drove him from your roof were full war- 
rant for his determination) had not fate reserved 
him, and you, for unforeseen complications. The 
life, the honor, the happiness of men and women 
whom I hold dear are now at stake, and you are the 
only person I know who can promptly set things 


right. You, as a man of wealth and social position 
and a power in local political matters, are now in 
touch with the Secretary of War. You can establish 
justice and promote tranquillity. To assure the 
Honorable Secretary of the truth of all that follows 
in this letter you have only to cause the following- 
named officers to appear in person at Washington, 
to wit: 

"Brigadier-General Grosvenor Belden, United 
States Volunteers, in unmerited arrest, Baltimore, 

"Brigadier-General Joshua Clark^ United States 
Volunteers, commanding brigade, — th Division, 
Second Army Corps. 

"Major Foulweather, — th United States Cavalry, 
and be damned to him, in hospital somewhere with 
a broken leg when it should have been his neck. 

"First Lieutenant Robert F. Hamlin, commanding 
squadron, — th United States Cavalry. 

"Major W. H. Morrow, Surgeon United States 
Volunteers, under the shadows of Baltimore detec- 
tives and Barnum's Hotel. 

"Then there are ladies, including my sister, whose 
names need not be dragged into the matter at all. 

"A s you did me the honor to say that only business 
propositions would ever be entertained by you in the 
future, I tender you, for your good offices in this 
matter, first, the restoration of letters you have 
vainly sought for, — those in which my mother 
pleaded with you for justice to me, and promised 


and vowed certain tilings in my name which jou re-' 
fused to entertain, and thereby transformed into 
dead letters. Second, the unexpended portion of 
the little sum my mother placed in the Park Bank 
for my use, all of which I drew out in April, '61, and 
intrusted to other hands. So long as I pursued a 
course that would bring credit to her son and honor 
to the name I saw fit to assume, I cherished the first 
named and drew upon the second. Having now 
taken upon myself, an enlisted soldier of the United 
States, the functions of a general court-martial, of 
the reviewing authority, and of the Secretary of 
War all in one, and having tried, acquitted, released, 
and thereby done my best to restore to the cause 
of the Confederacy, as it happens, a gentleman held 
as a spy, I am no longer worthy to hold such posi- 
tion of trust and emolument under the general gov- 
ernment. I therefore voluntarily withdraw from 
it, and am no more worthy to be called her son, 
though quite good enough in my own opinion to be 
yours. In plain words, sir, I, Jack Lowndes, alias 
Lawrence Bell, a private trooper of the — th United 
States Cavalry, have given aid and comfort to the 
enemy by compassing the escape of Colonel Floyd 
Fairfax, — th Virginia Infantry, and then and there- 
after deliberately deserting the service of the LTnited 

"How did I do it? In this wise: Ever since the 
week of my most untimely taking on with the 
regular army old hands have spoken to me of my 


strong resemblance to tlieir former first lieutenant, 
Grosvenor Belden, tlien a captain on General 
Hooker's stafF, later a colonel of Pennsylvania 
cavalry, and now a brigadier-general of United 
States Volunteers, always a gallant and distinguished 
officer and gentleman. The fancied resemblance 
pleased me, though it didn't Hatter. I saw the gen- 
tleman in AVashington and had the remarkable oj>- 
portunity of releasing from pawn certain articles of 
his apparel placed there, candor compels the admis- 
sion, not by himself, but by an employe of the hotel, 
who found them too big for his individual use. It 
pleased me to attire myself as Captain Belden, sim- 
ply to see if people would recognize in the resur- 
rected militiaman and volunteer, left for dead at 
Bull E.un, and the disinherited knight of your house- 
hold the resemblance to an officer and a gentleman. 
In Virginia I had fallen, first, into the hands of the 
enemy, who, believing me dead, would have buried 
me alive, thereby reversing the decree of my friends, 
who, believing me alive, would have buried me dead. 
Then fate — was it my mother who pointed the way? 
— led to the scene two of her old and devoted 
friends, Hester, Lady Heatherwood, and Florence, 
Lady Fairfax. It was the former who nursed me day 
and night until she was able to have me transferred 
from the battle-field to the home of her friend and 
kinswoman at Leesburg. You will not be grateful 
to them for their ministrations, but the world will 
say I should be, and I am. Also am I grateful for 


their solemn promise that Jack Lowndes should re- 
main numbered with the dead, and for my own that 
Lawrence Bell would live to serve them loyally. 
They, under sore stress, have kept their promise to 
reveal to none but one woman the story of my resur- 
rection. I to the bitter end have kept my self- 
recorded pledge to lose no opportunity to befriend 
those they love, even as my mother loved me. 

"In the dress and authority of Belden I bore an 
urgent message from Heatherwood to the Hunt 
house in the Catoctin Valley. In the guise of Bel- 
den I ordered our gunners to withhold their fire on 
Stuart's battery the day they rode by Heatherwood, 
and, finally, in the uniform, the equipments, the car- 
riage of Belden, accompanied by Belden's orderly, 
whom I had first befuddled with liquor and then 
ordered to call Belden's own driver, I assumed Bel- 
den's sole prerogative and set free a gallant soldier, 
the son of one benefactress, the kinsman of another. 
If this were not reason enough, there is still one 
more, to me the most potent of all, but it would 
probably have no weight with you. 

"And now, the Llonorable Secretary will not wil- 
lingly or readily release General Belden, restore him 
to command, and publicly wipe out the stain. Dis- 
aster in his eyes, as we know, has ever demanded a 
victim, i^or will the newspapers now maligning that 
gallant and brilliant officer tender the faintest 
amende when the truth is known. These wrongs arc 
hard for a soldier to bear, and for mv share in their 


infliction I tender General Belden the expression of 
my deej) sorrow that things had to be so. But, under 
similar circumstances I would do the same again, 
and down in the bottom of his heart General Belden 
will thank me for having saved his old friend and 
cherished comrade from the felon's death that would 
have been his lot. 

"Xo lighter sentence would have suited our Iron 
Secretary. The circumstances of his disguise, the 
place of his capture, the character of tlie papers 
found in the pockets of the farmer garb I strove to 
drown in the Monocacy, but that Foulweather's fel- 
lows fished out before they were fairly soaked, all 
rendered imperative a finding of guilty of being a 
spy within the Union lines, yet General Belden 
knows, and I know, spying was the last thing Floyd 
Fairfax had in view. Belden, being an officer and a 
gentleman, could not, without dishonor, act on his 
convictions. Trooper Bell, being only a despised 
enlisted man, without name, home, or fortune, could 
and did do what his superiors dare not. The Secre- 
tary will say it was a crime in me to release him. I 
say it would have been a crime to hang him, and 
that his crime would have been far greater than mine 
I will submit to the decision of that Immortal Judge 
in whose sight Edwin M. Stanton and Jack Lowndes, 
alias Bell, — head and foot, respectively, of the army 
of the United States, — stand on the equal plane of 
miserable sinners. 

"The Secretary and you will say that if I thought 


I was right I should have stood my ground and faced 
my accusers, taken my punishment, and not added 
the crime of desertion to my already clouded name. 
In the first place, I have no name. In the second, I 
have no confidence in military justice as practised 
under cival supervision such as Stanton's; and in the 
third place, I do not propose to spend ten years at Diy 
Tortugas or some other prison because I did what I 
knew to be right. As to the stigma of desertion that 
must attach to me, I shall look at it from the point of 
view of the philosopher in the ranks. The men who 
knew and served with Jack Lowndes at Bull Run, 
who charged with Lawrence Bell at Gaines's Mill and 
Hanover Court-House, who fought by his side the 
day we saved the gun at Ileatherwood, and who were 
with him in the dash on Hood's right flank at Gettys- 
burg, will say that, even though he has seen fit to 
wind up his record with the Army of the Potomac 
by tricking the guards at Federal Hill and retiring 
from the service of which he was so bright and not 
over-particular a star, the credit side of his account 
outweighs the debit. This sounds immensely egotis- 
tical, but I mean every word of it. 

"In fine, sir, I feel that, so far from bringing dis- 
credit on either of my names, I have done honor to 
both, and as I am now about to assume still another, 
I hope to cover that, too, with distinction. In another 
army and another field and with another name, I 
mean to do battle for our flag 'till the last armed foe 
expires,' or words to that effect, and should the third 


name under which I have served my countrv become 
eventually known to yon as that of a fellow who 
fought hard and well for the Union's, if not for his 
name's, sake, I picture the self-complacency with 
which you will congratulate yourself on having fur- 
nished no less than three able-bodied soldiers for the 
common cause, — all from the one son you kicked out 
of your house. 

"And now, sir, to conclude. I had hoped that my 
beloved sister would never have to know of my re- 
appearance on this earth unless I could come to her 
with a record so proud that eA^en you would have 
been silenced, but I have seen fit to surrender my 
prospects, the main hope and inspiration thereof 
being deader than I was at Bull Kun. By this time 
her grief would have been assuaged, and she might 
have ceased to mourn. To her I shall vTite by 
another hand, as I do to the loved household among 
whom, when banished from your doors, I found 
shelter, welcome, and infinite patience and mercy. 
This done, I have but one other obligation to dis- 
charge. So soon as General Belden is exonerated 
you will receive the order for the items of which I 

"This letter you will doubtless consider bitter, in- 
solent, most undutiful, and, as of old, will attribute 
its tone to over-indulgence in liquor. In this you 
will eiT, as you often did before. AVine mellowed 
what you termed my intractable spirit, filled me with 
faith, hope, charity, — ^made all men, even you, my 


friends. These lines are penned under the austere 
influences of an abstinence that has been total ever 
since I got drunk ten months ago, as a man does to 
neutralize snake-bite, in order to delay mj having 
to testify against Fairfax, at Point of Rocks, until 
his friends at Frederick could buy off one or more 
of his jailei's. 

"Posting this and other letters at midnight, I shall 
leave Philadelphia at once, and become, as you used 
to suggest, 'another man.' Your friend, the Secre- 
tary, and his friends, the secret service fellows, will 
lose time in looking for me. With due respect, 
"Your son, 

"John Lowndes." 

This was the letter placed in the hands of the 
Secretary of War at noon on the 28th of July. 
Pallid, trembling with emotion, his eyes full of trou- 
ble and dismay, the N^ew Yorker seated himself 
while the Secretary read. What passed between 
them later was not told. At one o'clock a despatch 
was received by an astonished major-general in Balti- 
more, directing that Brigadier-General Belden be 
released from arrest and ordered to report in person, 
accompanied by Surgeon Morrow, to the Secretary 
of War the following day. So suspicious of trickery 
was the department conmiander that he demurred. 
IS^ot until four p.m. was the order communicated to 
General Belden, on the arrival of certain officers 
from Washington. With them came a portly 


civilian, prominent as a member of the Union 
League, and lield in high consideration by the gov- 
ernment. Mr. George Lowndes sent his card to the 
young brigadier, begged the favor of an inter\'iew, 
was closeted with him and Dr. Morrow half an hour, 
and then the trio drove to Barnum's, Belden de- 
clining to stop and accept the congratulations of the 
commanding general. Later, an orderly was de- 
spatched %vith a letter to Eutaw Street, where it was 
received by a young damsel with black eyes and 
rosy cheeks, who seemed mad with delight and mis- 
chief, and who perj^lexed the shy volunteer by de- 
manding, "You Yankees goin' to hang Floyd Fair- 
fax now, or wait till you get him?" for the shade to 
the opposite dormer-window was raised, and people 
with beaming faces had been throwing surreptitious 
kisses and joyous glances at Madam Heatherwood's 
window for over an hour. And later still, while the 
two fair girls were clasped, sobbing, in each other's 
arms, and Belle and Florence poured out their heart- 
load of sorrowing confidences, their hopes, their 
fears, their almost idolatrous praises of Jack's hero- 
ism, Jack's self-abnegation. Jack's marvellous ex- 
ploit as described by Florence, — never realizing, 
woman-like, the gravity of his offences from the legal 
and military jDoint of view, never dreaming of the 
peril in which he had placed himself, — a sorrow- 
stricken father held long conference with Mrs. 
Heatherwood in the parlor below. To him at last 
she recounted the strange events of the two years 


past, of her discovery of Jack among the desperately 
wounded, of the promise extorted from her as soon 
as lie could make himself understood, — that she 
would keep his recovery a secret from all but Mrs. 
Fairfax and Belle, until later on he could absolve 
her; of the desperate nature of his c^se at first, — 
shot, as he was, straight through the right lung; of 
how reckless he had later been in her service, even 
to the extent, all unknown to her, of having the offi- 
cer's uniform and equipments kept there at Heather- 
wood; of his donning it for Belle's sake in order that 
lie might ride to the Catoctin Valley, where his pass 
as orderly would not carry him, and so warn the 
Hunts to tell Fairfax of how Heatherwood was sur- 
rounded and to forbid his coming; of how Jack 
later managed to destroy Belle's missive to her Vir- 
ginia kinsman when Foulweather found the trooper 
at the mansion; of how he saved them from a can- 
nonade and had striven to destroy the evidence 
against Fairfax. Her tears welled up as she spoke 
of that night, and of his later conduct, or misconduct, 
while in the hospital. From the night of Fairfax's 
first arrest Jack had never seen Belle, nor had he 
written to her, and when he came as one of the escort 
with the fever-smitten major, it was only herself, 
Madam Heatlierwood, that he had sent to ask to meet 
him at the old arbor on the hill-side. It was only 
herself to whom, later, he unfolded his plans for the 
release of Fairfax from prison at Federal Hill. She 
had instantly conferred with the colonel's friends 


in Baltimore, and, once the prisoner was safely away 
to Carrick's, the rest was easy. A thousand times 
over the devoted fellow rewarded her for the little 
she had done for him, said Mrs. Heatherwood. Yet, 
as was the case with her daughter, woman-like, she 
could not see that he had utterly sacrificed himself. 
Surely the nation, the people, even the government 
at Washington, would forgive him when they knew 
all. But how were they ever to know — all? 

And in the midst of their conference a card was 
handed in. General Belden begged to be allowed to 
j^ay his respects to Mrs. Heatherwood on the eve of 
his departure for "Washington, and even as the gen- 
tle woman turned to greet and welcome him, Aunt 
Ohloe went wheezing up-stairs with a note for Miss 

ISTot five minutes later, before the first gTeetings 
were fairly over, before Mrs. Heatherwood had 
ceased again to marvel at the resemblance which the 
silent father sat so mournfully studying, there came 
the sound of a sudden and heavy fall in the room 
above. Mrs. Heatherwood looked up in alarm, and 
then hastened to the hall, for the voice of Florence 
was heard calling for help. Xot knowing what 
might have happened, Belden himself led the rush 
up-stairs, but turned back at the door, — it was only a 
fainting girl who lay there prostrate, and the letter 
later explained it all, even to that which the loving 
mother half suspected, yet so long could not under- 



That night, as Mr. Lowndes and the young gen- 
eral paced slowly back to the hotel, the latter heard 
the full particulars, as related, by Mrs. Ileatherwood, 
of the story of the "double" whose existence he had 
suspected for many a long month. He took the sad 
old gentleman by the hand, "So far as I am con- 
cerned, sir," said he, "your brave son has full forgive- 
ness. I wish I could say it for the authorities. But 
if ever he need a friend, he can count on me. I shall 
do my best to find him just so soon as the hue and cry 
are over." 

But neither Belden nor the father had seen the 
letter over which, late into the night, a loving, sor- 
rowing woman, kneeling by a beloved daughter's 
side, wept and prayed for hours. 

" Philadelphia, July 27. 

"There was a time in your past when you told me 
that a great renunciation was needed before I could 
hope to win the love of any woman worth the having. 

"The day I rode for you to the Catoctins I read 
such new, sweet promise in your eyes and words that 
my heart bounded with a hope I never knew before. 
That day I dared to take your hands in mine and 
dared to press one kiss upon your forehead, — the 
first, the last, all in one. The message I bore forbade 
his coming; your eyes and lips invited me, even 
though I wore the humblest dress in the hostile blue. 
That was one day. 

"Then came another when, unseen by you, I 


watched your agony at your lover's capture, and 
what I saw and what I heard were more than enough. 
You and your ever blessed mother had kept my 
secret, and I had vowed that, come what might, if 
fate should throw in my way the chance of saving 
those you loved, I would stop at nothing to keep the 
faith. I saw again the proofs that your heart was 
bound up in Floyd Fairfax the day when stern orders 
compelled me to stand by that open tent and listen to 
your sobbing, and to hear later — thank God I could 
not see it! — how his arms enfolded you, how his 
kisses swept away your tears. 

"It was possible for just one man to save him to 
you, and — it is done. My promise is kept, and 
though the love I craved is given to a happier man, 
I have made my great renunciation. It is now, 

"John Lowndes." 


A GENEEAL court-martial assembled at Fort Mc- 
Henry, Baltimore, late in August, for the trial of 
Trooper Luke Morrissey, — tli United States Cav- 
alry, "and such other prisoners as may properly be 
brought before it," and the odd part of the affair 
was that there were officers who sought the distinc- 
tion of being brought before it, and who were denied 
the luxury. An officer might demand a court of in- 
quiry, said the sages of the AVar Department, and the 
President might or might not accord it as he felt dis- 
posed, but no officer could demand a court-martial. 
Consequently, released from arrest and restored to 
duty, the Connecticut officers were denied the privi- 
lege of being vindicated by a jury of their peers, — no 
one of whom, it was asserted, could possibly have 
distinguished between Lowndes and Belden were 
these two now famous personages attired exactly 
alike. High and low and unavailing was the search 
for the deserter, who had vanished, leaving not a 
trace behind. True to his word, an order for "the 
items above referred to" came with a sad, fond letter 
to his sister Florence, who wept over it for days, but 
dutifully obtained and restored to her father the 
stout, leather-encased packet, so long reverently 
guarded by Miss Heatherwood. Xo word of reproach 



did the daughter utter as she handed to the broken- 
spirited old man the precious case, and with it the 
check for the balance remaining in a Philadelphia 
bank to the credit of "Lawrence Bell." The father's 
hands trembled as they opened the former, and great 
tears trickled down his furrowed cheeks as he reread 
one of the fond, pleading pages, and then bowed his 
head on his arms and brooded in silence. By his side 
knelt Florence, striving to soothe and comfort, but 
he would none of it. "Her last plea," he moaned, 
"was for Jack, and yet I steeled my heart. I thought 
I knew him best. I thought his will should yield to 
mine. I never thought to reason with him." 

In the personal columns of leading journals, east 
and west, were inserted for weeks appeals to Law- 
rence Bell to communicate with his friends and that 
all should be made right ; but if the appeal met the 
ex-trooper's eye he probably had his doubts as to the 
ability of even so prominent a member of the Union 
League to make right a clear case of desertion, or 
possibly he scented a trap on part of the detectives. 
Not one clue would he give as to his whereabouts, 
yet there speedily came proof that he was keenly 
watching the course of events, and that was during 
old Morrissey's trial. 

Here, indeed, was a problem. Twenty years had 
that veteran followed the flag without other reproach 
to name or fame than the semi-occasional spree so 
characteristic of the Hibernian trooper of the old 
army. Wounded in the war with Mexico when he 


rode with the dragoons; extolled in general orders 
for heroism in Texas when, at the risk of his own 
gallant life, he stood by a wounded sergeant and 
fought a swarm of yelling Comanches, being himself 
twice wounded in the successful attempt to save his 
comrade ; lionized in the new regiment as the nattiest 
orderly ever chosen by cavalry adjutant for detail 
with such honored officers as Sidney Johnston, 
Robert E. Lee, or dear old Major Slowtrot Thomas; 
distinguished, as were hundreds of our rank and file 
for refusing commissions in the army of the Con- 
federate States, even when importuned by offi- 
cers they loved as Morrissey loved Fairfax; and, 
finally, renowned in the regular brigade for his 
daring and devotion in many a charge or scrimmage 
in the bitter war then waging, Morrissey's record of 
twenty years of heroism was now being weighed in 
the balance against one tremendous accusation, — 
that of having compassed the release of a rebel officer 
who stood accused of being a spy within the Union 
lines. Without his co-operation, drunk or sober, it 
would have been next to impossible for Bell to play 
the part of Belden. Evidence was adduced showing 
that Bell and the accused had had two or three long- 
conferences the evenings preceding the 25th of July; 
that when Carrick would have declined his job as 
driver of the general's carriage, Morrissey offered 
to "go bail" he'd make it worth Carrick's while in 
more ways than one. Evidence of his furious de- 
nunciation of a man who spoke of Fairfax as a spy 


was produced, and of his declaration in a public place 
(Moriartj's Shades) that the man that would hang 
Floyd Fairfax as a spy should be "put in diapers for 
an immachurist;" which when related by the wit- 
ness sunply convulsed the court. But there was none 
but himself to tell how Floyd Fairfax had watched 
and even nursed the old fellow when down with 
fever in the lied River bottom. There was no one to 
step forward and tell that court under oath how in- 
dignantly the grizzled soldier had refused to touch 
one penny of the money the friends of Fairfax had 

All the same, there came a letter to the judge ad- 
vocate from the missing trooper Bell, and a swarm 
of witnesses to testify to Morrissey's past record and 
character. Of the latter were both Belden and Foul- 
weather. The letter of Trooper Bell could not be 
admitted as evidence, but was read with absorbing 
interest by every member of the court. All the 
blame, it said, should be charged to him. Bell, pre- 
cisely as, in the case of other deserters, it was then 
the custom to charge every missing article on the 
ordnance or quartermaster's returns, from a howit- 
zer to a halter-strap. Morrissey was sirdply the tool 
with which he wrought. It is easy to persuade an 
Irishman to risk his own life for the sake of the man 
or the cause he holds dear, and, having risked his life 
a hundred times for the government, he was induced 
to risk trial and punishment to save the neck of his 
old commander, for no amount of hard swearing 


could ever convince liini, Morrissey, that Fairfax 
deserved tlie fate of a spy. 

Belden's testimony in behalf of Morrissey was 
eulogium, so was that of Treacy and Bob Hamlin, 
but Foulweather, as might have been expected, gave 
but reluctant praise. To the quick wrath of the ac- 
cused soldier, the good words of the swarthy major 
could only be dragged from him by dint of earnest 
effort on part of the judge advocate, who finally 
waxed indignant at the obstinacy of his witness; and 
then followed an unlooked-for and startling incident. 

Angered at the attempts of the judge advocate to 
extort from him reluctant admission that the accused 
had been a most valuable and trusted soldier for 
twenty years, old Foulweather blurted out; "I don't 
care what a man's past services may have been, the 
moment he gives aid or comfort in any shape to any 
creature connected with this damnable rebellion I'd 
hang him high as Haman! I'd stamp out his name 
as I would a snake! I'd " 

"Silence, sir!" thundered the president of the 
court, with a whack of his sword on the table. "Con- 
fine your remarks to answers to the questions put by 
the judge advocate. We need no firing the heart of 
the Xorth in this jDresence." 

"Bedad!" was the astonished interjection of old 
Morrissey, as he rose from his chair, quivering with 
mingled wrath and emotion. "There was no need in 
firing Heatherwood, but ask liim who done it!" And 
in the midst of an awkward and solemn silence the 


prisoner pointed square at bis erstwhile commander, 
who turned, scowling and furious, on the excited 

"Sit down, Morrissey!" ordered the judge advo- 
cate, almost springing at him. "Xot another word, 
sir! — Sit down, major!" he continued, as old Foul- 
weather arose as though determined to address the 
court. "This is no j)lace " 

"Place or no place," shouted Foulweather, "I am 
challenged and I shall answer here!" Over the in- 
stant hubbub in the court, over the stern orders of 
the president for silence, his harsh, sonorous voice 
rang out invincibly. "That place was the hot-bed 
of treason, — the home of spies and traitors. They 
conspired with their kincl in our army to deprive me 
of command. They put me in charge of a surgeon, 
but couldn't blind me or stop my ears. They were 
ordered arrested by the AVar Department. Traitors 
in our uniform set them free, — helped them away, 
by God! in the very ambulance that brought me 
there! D'ye s'pose I'd lie bedridden when I heard 
that ! I was out of it and up that hill, and those Xew 
England soldiers knew^ a loyal officer when they saw 
one, and they did my bidding. War is war, and if 
I'd had my way that rebel hole would have gone up 
in smoke a long year before." 

That night, hours after the temporary adjourn- 
ment of the court, in the corridors of the hotels, in 
the crowded streets of camp, men stood and talked 
of Foulweather's boast, and of Foulweather's fever- 


crazed deed. Fever might have accounted for his 
possible craze that night in June, but not now. Long 
weeks had elapsed since his hammering at Gettys- 
burg. He had so far recovered as to be allowed to 
visit Washington and invade the War Department 
and inveigh against the miscreants promoted over 
him, and to vaunt his own deeds until ordered as a 
witness to Baltimore. This night, piling Pelion 
upon Ossa, he was found to be drinking heavily, and 
this complicated matters still further. Ordered to 
report at McHenry for further examination on the 
morrow, the major at three o'clock in the morning 
was forcibly borne to a room and put to bed, Treacy 
and Hamlin mounting guard with solemn faces. 
Was this to be the realization of a fear each, un- 
known to the other, had felt for months past, — that 
the stanch old fighter had fairly worn hmiself out, 
and that envy and jealousy, blasted hope and 
blighted ambition, all had conspired with over-much 
whiskey and more than enough of hard knocks to 
unbalance the veteran's reason. Certain it was that 
when the doctor came with the moi'uing he found 
his patient unconscious, breathing stertorously, his 
veins black and swollen, his face suffused. There 
was no Foulweather to answer the call for the wit- 
ness when court convened that morning. There was 
no recognition in his blood-shot eyes when Treacy 
and Hamlin, ordered to rejoin their squadrons at the 
front, called to see how their old major was and to 
say good-by. Whatever might have been the extent 


of his malady when sent to hospital at Ileatherwood, 
there was left no room for doubt of its severity now. 
Foul weather was too ill to rejoice even when poor old 
Morrissey's sentence was later read. The court had 
no volition at all. Compelled by law to sentence 
in accordance with the degree of the offence, it had 
accorded him a long term of imprisonment, with 
ball and chain, in the dismal casemates of Fort 
Lafayette, but coupled with this award an earnest 
plea for mercy. 

And even then the veteran seemed little discom- 
posed. "AVhist!" said he. "There is wan to spake 
yet that niver turned his back on a poor privut. 
Wait till the Prisident hears what they've given old 
Morrissey." And hear it he did before the setting 
of another sun. Poor old Foul weather! The news 
that came a few days later that the veteran trooper 
had actually been pardoned and restored to duty 
would have crazed him had he not gone daft already. 
That winter saw the old regiment in new hands, for 
the raging major never joined again. 

Meanwhile, the summer's sun had driven many 
Baltimoreans out of town, and, as might have been 
expected, both Mrs. and Miss Heatherwood were suf- 
ferers. Sorrow and anxiety are poor companions 
with which to encounter the humid heat of the Pa- 
tapsco shores, yet day after day, as soon as relieved 
from the restrictions that confined her within doors, 
Mrs. Heatherwood was again making her tireless 
round among the sick and wounded. It could not 


last long, and Mr. George Lowndes, absent on a sad 
quest in Cincinnati, received a telegram from lier 
physician recalling him at once. Since the hour 
Jack's farewell letter came, Belle had left the house 
only when taken out for an occasional drive in the 
early evening. Florence, despite the heat, refused 
to leave her friend, and by mid-August the three 
women looked, as sympathizing neighbors expressed 
it to one another, ''like perfect frights." This time 
Lowndes would not take no for answer. He bundled 
the three into an evening train and settled them at 
Cape May. It was sorely against Mrs. Heather- 
wood's will, but she was prostrate and could make 
no active resistance. There were cool, soft breezes 
and entire rest; all three could look for benefit. 
Meantime, the aging father returned to the West 
and resumed his sorrowful inquiries. 

Profiting by the inaction of the Union leaders in 
the East, Lee dared to detach one of his three corps 
and sent Longstreet to Tennessee to the aid of Bragg, 
with the result that, midway between the scenes of 
the great Union triumphs of Gettysburg and Vicks- 
burg the South came up smiling after its supposed 
annihilation and dealt the direful blow of Chicka- 
mauga. The war, then, was anything but ended, 
and once again Baltimore thrilled with joy. 

Mid-October came, and, older, grayer, sadder 
still, Lowndes came back from weeks of fruitless 
searching among the hospitals of Kentucky, and, 
gathering up his household, took them to the old 


home on Fifth Avenue. Another clew had reached, and he was eager to go to Chattanooga, but 
Chattanooga was shut off from the outside world by 
the bold besiegers. Yet no sooner did Grant burst 
through, with Sherman at his heels, than the inert 
mass starving or sleeping in the shadows of Lookout 
Mountain seemed to spring to life again, and just as 
the early snows were sifting down about the roofs 
and spires of Gotham, hope and enthusiasm re- 
awakened in the North over the news that Bragg's 
besieging army was swept like chaff from Mission 
Ridge, and only the old flag now was floating down 
the Tennessee. That grand victory of Grant's came 
just in the nick of time, for far and near all over the 
loyal States the pall of despond was spreading. The 
South had fought too hard and long and well. 

Bivouacked on the very crest of the ridge, close 
to the dull red earthworks on which they had planted 
their colors during the day, a strong regiment of far 
Western men was singing and rejoicing about the 
blazing cook-fires. Every now and then the groups 
nearest the dusty roadway would rise and cheer some 
general or staff-oflicer as he rode rapidly by, and all 
.along the line the exultant shout would be taken up. 
They were cheering everybody, anybody, the evening 
of that glorious day, but they sprang to their feet 
again and swarmed like bees and swung their caps 
and shouted madly at sight of a stocky, broad-shoul- 
dered, sharp-featured little fellow in a major-gen- 
eral's coat, who laughed and shook his head at their 


characteristic yells for a speech, but he said thrilling 
words to those who grasped his hands and hugged 
his booted legs and crowded about his horse, and 
thej cheered again like mad, for this was Sheridan's 
division, as undivided a command as ever stood the 
shock of battle. Presently it transpired that he 
wanted to see the man who bore their colors u^^ the 
height after the sergeant was shot down, and there 
was a yell for Corporal Hoe, and the corporal 
couldn't be found. The regiment had wavered a 
minute, it seems, midway up the slope, for Bragg's 
men gave them a crashing volley or two from a zig- 
zag line of parapet a hundred yards beyond them. 
The color-bearer reeled and fell, but passed his silken 
treasure to the hands of a tall, brown-bearded cor- 
poral in the rear rank of his guard, and this man, 
tossing away his rifle, sprang out to the front full a 
dozen yards, swinging and waving the brilliant ban- 
ner high over his head and shouting, "Come on, men ! 
Come on!" In an instant, too, an officer had rushed 
to the front, the young colonel commanding, waving 
his sword and shouting, "Forward!" The line burst 
ahead with a yell, yet could not overtake that tall, 
athletic leader. Every inch of the way to within a 
few feet of the summit he kept in advance, leaping 
the shallow rifle-pits, scrambling over log breast- 
works; and just how he escaped death was a miracle, 
for the flag was riddled, the staff splintered with 

Yet this night, Avhen Sheridan wanted to shake 


hands with him, Corporal Hoe had disappeared. 
"Tell him to come to me in the morning," said the 
little general, as he rode awaj, and then the men 
began to talk of Iloe. 

Who he was, where he was from, nobody knew, 
and Hoe wouldn't say. All the information given 
by the meagre muster-roll was to the effect that he 
had enlisted in such a county on such a day in 
August, 1863, but the "batch" of recruits made up of 
drafted men sent down to join just before Chicka- 
mauga were able to add that Hoe had enlisted as sub- 
stitute for a well-to-do father of a numerous family, 
and they told a story to the effect that the officials 
said that the substitute was worth ten of the original. 
Tall, splendidly built, a soldier evidently, the officers 
were quick to see in the silent, blue-eyed fellow a 
man with a history. But good men were too valuable 
to be made restive under importunate questioning. 
Hoe's reserve was respected. His cool courage at 
Chickamauga made him a corporal. His stature and 
steadiness took him at once into the color-guard, and 
only in one way had he betrayed anything by which 
his antecedents could be conjectured. There had 
been hardly any time for drill before the recruits 
went into action with their regiment, and in loading 
Private Hoe made a half face to the left, threw the 
butt of his long rifle back in rear of the left foot, 
with the barrel sloping to the front instead of, in the 
language of the drill-sergeants, "bringing the piece 
vertically in front of the centre of the bodv, barrel 


to the front, butt between the feet." "See that?" 
said Captain Rogers. "That man learned the manual 
of arms before the war." Of course, they asked him 
where, and Hoe, smiling quietly, replied, "In a mili- 
tia company," which was j^erfectly true, yet helped 
them not at all. 

That night the colonel called to the adjutant, 
'"Sheridan has sent for Corporal Hoe to come to his 
head-quarters. Better make him color-bearer at once 
and stave off his being detailed as orderly." 

Yet the colonel need not have worried. Hoe had 
already declined to leave his regiment for any other 
duty. The spring of '64 came on. Grant and Sheri- 
dan had been summoned to the East, and, with Sher- 
man to head the army of the West, these three son§ 
of Ohio set forth on that momentous campaign that 
\vas to prove the beginning of the end, and from 
Atlanta went a j)aper, backed by the endorsement 
of famous brigade, division, and corps commanders, 
in which the colonel urged that Sergeant-Major Hoe 
be commissioned because of conspicuous bravery and 
marked ability, and so it happened that at Franklin 
he rode at the colonel's side as adjutant of the regi- 
ment, and that at Nashville, where Thomas turned 
the tables on his old regimental comrade. Hood, it 
was Hoe who led the dash of the attenuated bat- 
talion when colonel and half the captains were gone. 
Yet all this time, reserved, silent, and, as all could 
see, sad, he had remained a stranger, for to no man 
did he tell the story of his past. They honored him, 


believed in him, and would eagerly have sought his 
confidence and friendship, but, while scrupulously 
courteous and considerate, he maintained what they 
all felt was an incognito. 

The morning of the second day of the grapple 
had come, and Hood's astonished army, that on the 
previous dawn was defiantly facing north and threat- 
ening the proud capital of Tennessee, had been 
sledge-hammered out of its encircling earthworks to 
the west, and now, hanging with grim desperation to 
the bristling redoubts at the eastward end of their 
line and the strong post of Overton's Hill, con- 
fronted the dim blue ranks of Thomas. Who would 
have said five years before that these fellow-soldiers 
in the same regiment in which rode Sidney Johnston 
and Lee, Hardee and Thomas, Hood and Garrard, 
Fitz Lee and Johnson, Belden and Fairfax, that 
here within hail of the hospitable Southern eity two 
great armies would be fighting to the death, — 
Thomas, the sturdy battalion commander, at the 
head of one ; Hood, his erstwhile dashing lieutenant, 
at the head of the other; while two of the divisions 
engaged on the Union side should be led by Garrard 
and Johnson, old friends and comrades, — adjutant 
and subaltern respectively. Fierce and bloody had 
been the battling at Franklin a fortnight before. 
Sharp and stern the struggle of yesterday, and now 
one more united effort was needed and Hood's last 
prop would be swept away. 

And yet this is almost an improvfeed army that 


Thomas has at hand. Many a new and untried regi- 
ment is here. Three or fonr brigades and brigadiers 
were strangers not three weeks ago, and the veterans 
of the Fourth Corps look askance at the new 
blankets, overcoats and knapsacks of a brigade that 
marches by an hour after dawn. "Johnny Raws," 
say the grinning files of the rearmost line of a 
Western regiment, whereat the brigade commander, 
a massive, bearded, soldierly fellow, whom their 
practised eyes are quick to recognize as a veteran, 
turns half laughing in his saddle and shakes a gaunt- 
leted fist. "AVe're to go side by side, you rascally 
Badgers," he cries. "Let's see if my 'raws' will be 
done any quicker than you." Whereat there goes 
up a shout of good-natured chaff and applause. A 
bumptious man, an ill-tempered rebuke, would have 
roused the ire of the soldiery. The laughing chal- 
lenge wins their sympathy instanter. "Bully for the 
general!" goes up the cry, and several officers turn 
to see what the shouting means. 

"I never saw that general before," says the senior 
captain, who has had command since Franklin. 
"Who is he?" 

"One of those Army of the Potomac fellows," 
answers their own brigade leader, himself only a 
colonel. "They take our best generals to plan their 
doings for them, and then send their new ones out 
here to learn how to fight. That's General Clark, 
though they do say he's a good one." 

And at sound of the name the tall adjutant, who 


has been seated making some memoranda in liis note- 
book, springs to bis feet and, with paling face, stands 
gazing after the marching column. 

"What is it, Hoe?" asks the brigade leader. "Have 
you ever met him?" 

For a moment there is no answer. There is, in- 
deed, significant silence. Then at last comes the 
reply, "I have seen him — somewhere before." 

Three hours later the sulphur clouds hang low 
over the scarred slopes to the south of the lately be- 
leaguered city, and the roar of battle is giving place 
all along the line to exultant cheering. Gun after 
gun, battery after battery, has been enveloped by 
the charging battalions in the light-blue overcoats, 
and everywhere on a front of over three miles the 
waving banners of the Union are pressing onward. 
Everywhere the dull gray ranks are breaking and 
drifting away, save at one point. At the edge of a 
clumj) of trees, in a strong earthwork, half a dozen 
light guns are still playing on the halted brigade that 
has essayed their capture, for several plucky but 
sorely thinned battalions stand firmly in support and 
sweep with their fire the westward and northward 
slopes, llaging at the unlooked-for check, a division 
commander rides furiously along the sullen, unre- 
sponsive ranks crouching for shelter at the foot of the 

"It's no use, general," says a veteran colonel, de- 
jectedly. "These fellows have charged twice, and 
look there!" he adds, pointing with his sword to the 


corpses strown along their front away np almost to 
the black embrasures. "They are fought out. 
Another charge would use up what's left of them." 

"Then, by God! let 'em lie there and see better 
men do their work!" is the savage rejoinder, and 
spurring at the gallop to his right, the general dashes 
up to the bearded brigade commander. "General 
Clark," he shouts, "change front to the half left and 
drive those fellows out of that grove! You can do 
it — Crandall's men are pumped." 

Xot five minutes later and with grand enthusiasm 
the leading line of the new brigade, two strong regi- 
ments in front, is sweeping steadily up the slope, and 
the Southern guns and musketry turn savagely upon 
them. Half-way, and they waver, for men are fall- 
ing fast, and out rides their brigade commander, 
colors in hand, his voice ringing magnificently 
through the roar of artillery. Fired by the sight, 
the remnant to their left seems all on a sudden to 
spring to its feet as though to show the division com- 
mander the colonel has maligned it, but all eyes are 
on the splendid form of the adjutant of that Badger 
regiment. Leaping on the horse of a wounded major, 
seizing the old battle-worn colors he had borne at 
Mission Ridge, out he dashes full twenty yards in 
front of the reviving brigade, and with a deafening 
yell it rises and follows him, and so it happens that 
in the surging rush that goes over the battery, bat- 
talions and all, Clark's "Johnny Raws" and Cran- 
dall's crippled veterans tumble in side by side, their 


inner flanks huddled together indistinguishably, 
their voices mingled in exultant cheers. Almost at 
the same instant, it seems, these two grand leaders, 
the general and the adjutant, — the general from the 
Army of the Potomac, the adjutant from none knows 
where, — their horses shot from beneath them, their 
flags still waving high, come leaping through the 
fire-flashing bank of smoke, their jDaths converging, 
their cheering men close following at their heels. 
Over the thin and crouching ranks in gray the victors 
sweep, shouting hoarse orders to those attempting to 
escape to stojD in their tracks or be shot down, and 
almost before they realize it three thousand rejoicing 
men in Union blue are captors of the battery, its 
supporting brigade, and of the battalions lining the 
earthworks to the south, who, taken in flank^ can 
neither fight nor run. For a moment Pandemonium 
reigns. Hats, caps, and colors are tossed in air. 
Popular officers are raised on the shoulders of their 
cheering men, and borne to the parapet. A major- 
general and his staff come galloping to the scene to 
join in the jubilee. Right and left the aides and 
ofiicers are darting, receiving the swords of the cap- 
tive Confederates and marshalling their sorrowing 
leaders before the division commander. And then, 
still panting, General Clark bursts his way through 
groups of enthusiastic men. 

"Where is the fellow that led on our left?" he 
demands. "I want to shake hands with him." 

And a soldier, pointing to where half a dozen offi- 


cers are kneeling about a prostrate form, says, "This 
way, general," and Clark joins them, kneels, and, 
looking into their anxious faces, queries, "Is he badly 
wounded?" Whereat a surgeon gravely nods and 
goes on with his work. Belt and sash have been un- 
loosed, the coat thrown open from throat to waist, 
and now as the doctor unbuttons a shirt already 
soaked with blood, and bares the broad, muscular 
chest, a reddish-blue mark catches the professional 
eye. A locket, pendent from a fine gold chain, is re- 
vealed to all. "This gentleman has been shot before, 
and if he could recover from that, he can, please 
God, from this," says the surgeon, solemnly, as he 
finds a welling fountain farther down on the other 
side. "It is loss of blood that has used him up," he 
adds, as with skilful hands he begins to stanch the 
wound, while an assistant raises the drooping head 
and applies a flask to the pale lips. Feebly a hand 
is uplifted and the flask is thrust away. 

"Drink, sir," says the surgeon, "just a sij) or two. 
It's brandy. No, I insist," he continues, as again 
the half-unconscious officer seems striving against it. 

"lEoe never drinks," murmurs Captain Rogers. 
"That's what's the matter," But the surgeon's order 

"What do you call him? What is this gallant 
gentleman's name?" asks Clark, bending forward, 
his eyes ablaze with new and eager interest. "I — 
think I've met him before." 

"Hoe — John Hoe, our adjutant, by gad!" says 


the battalion commander, proudly; "and we'll match 
him against anything in the army, east or west." 

But Clark moves still nearer, and is peering in- 
tently into the bearded face just beginning to receive 
faint color, and then, dreamily, the eyes unveil, and 
faintly, half-consciously come the words, while the 
ghost of a smile seems to flit about the corners of his 
mouth, — 

"Hoe — yes — John Hoe — Ivan Hoe, don't you 
see, Clark — Desdichado — the Disinherited Knight." 

And then, with a cry that startles the groups on 
every side, the bearded general throws his arms about 
the swooning man. "Jack! Jack! Thank God 
we've found you at last!" 

* * -A- * * * * 

The lilacs were in bloom again in many a little 
court-yard in Gotham. The grand army had come 
drifting home for muster out after the final parade 
in Washington. The streets and aveuues were filled 
with men in faded blue, the clubs with uniforms. A 
bearded soldier, double-starred by brevet for gal- 
lant and meritorious services in the battle of Nash- 
ville, had stopped on his homeward way to call on his 
old client at the Lowndes homestead, and to shake 
hands over and over again with a tall, soldierly, yet 
pallid man whose brave blue eyes and clear-cut face, 
whose imperial and moustache, were oddly like those 
of the bronzed and bestarred young general who 
seemed almost as great an object of interest in the 
household as his now acknowledged double, the son 


and heir. Big and roomy as it was, the old brown- 
stone mansion was filled witli gnests this lovely day 
in '65, and yet there were more to come. It seemed 
as thongh the father could not summon friends 
enough to do homage to Jack. It had seemed, weeks 
before, as though that helpless invalid could not be 
brought to realize the truth that, stern and im- 
placable as he had seemed, that father loved him and 
had long forgiven the faults and follies of his youth. 
When at last Jack could see how gravely he had 
misjudged his father, his humility and penitence 
were indescribable. Only Florence saw their recon- 
ciliation; only to one friend did she describe it, — 
one whose lips but rarely spoke his name, and then 
only with betraying quiver. For weeks after the 
great battle they nursed their invalid at !N^ashville, 
and not until April had they ventured Xorth, and 
then only as far as AVashington and Baltimore, where 
an "Iron Secretary" found time to see and shake 
hands with the young major by brevet of volunteers, 
whose commission recited heroic deeds and was made 
out in the name of John Hoe. "Congress will have 
to straighten out his various names and titles," said 
the Secretary, now a care-worn and grizzled man, 
"but I can 'tend to the removal of that charge of de- 
sertion against Trooper Bell and — certain other 
deviltries," to which even now, it seems, he could 
not allude without a grimace. There was a disposi- 
tion in Baltimore to do homage to the returned vol- 
unteer, now recognized as the man who had saved 


tlie life of Fairfax, but this the convalescent refused. 
There was a week in which Florence trod on air lest 
she should disturb certain interviews, that occasion- 
ally became murmurous, between her hero Jack and 
her Maryland friend. There were more such weeks 
when, along in May, the Heatherwoods, mother and 
daughter, and Colonel Ralph were made to come to 
Gotham as the guests of George Lowndes, Esq., and 
the reunion of the blue and the gray began forth- 
with. There was more of it when Belden dropped 
in just as Clark returned from the AA'est, and, though 
there were fortunes to be repaired and shattered 
homes to be rebuilt, and many and many a grave 
over which to mourn, there were sunshine and 
blessed peace, and the heart of one noble woman 
overflowed with thanksgiving as she looked around 
with swimming eyes upon the loved ones reunited. 
They sat clasping her hands one night, Florence 
on one side, Belle on the other, when the men for the 
moment, after the fashion of the day, were lingering 
over their cigars in the dining-room, and to them 
came the butler. There was a soldier would like to 
speak with General Belden, and there at the door 
stood old Morrissey. The exclamations of delight 
with which that astonished veteran was seized and 
dragged into the parlor brought a rush from the 
table in the room beyond, and both Belden and 
Jack nearly shook his arms loose when they reached 
him. Then he was fairly hauled into that brilliantly 
lighted apartment, with all its rich appointments of 


plate-laden sideboard, of snowy, damask-covered 
table, decked with flowers and bravely set forth with 
its array of carved decanters, cut glass, and costly 
china. It was a strange sight, that of the veteran 
trooper with his scarred face and bristling, grizzled 
moustache, standing there rigidly erect and scrupu- 
lously buttoned in his best cavalry jacket, brave with 
yellow lace, the broad chevrons of the standard- 
bearer and the glistening shoulder-scales, blushingly 
holding the wine-glass that his host was hospitably 
filling to the brim, while two gallant men in the garb 
of major-generals of the Union, a third in the simple, 
single-breasted frock of the line officer, but with the 
gold leaves of a major on his infantry shoulder- 
straps, looking, despite his modest uniform and pallid 
face, as though he might be the brother of the 
younger general officer, a fourth man, youngest of 
all, and soldier, too, despite the evening dress of civil 
life, — these four standing with uplifted glasses to 
drink health and happiness and prosperity to Ser- 
geant Morrissey of the old army, while three fair 
women, one with silvery hair, hovered smiling at the 
broad door-way. 

"By Jove!" cried Major Jack, his blue eyes spark- 
ling with delight, "what wouldn't I give if Fairfax 
could but be here!" 

"I saw Gineral Fairfax in Richmond, sorr," said 
the sergeant, promptly, "and he gave me this, sorr, 
for the meejor," he added with the quick recognition 
of the Celtic soldier of new rank and title, and then 

Blushingly holding the wine-glass. 


produced from an inner pocket a letter which he 
handed to Jack as he would have presented an 
orderly's despatch. "There's no answer, sorr, but I 
was not to fail to deliver it," and Lowndes turned 
red as he tucked it in an inner pocket. It was late 
before he could read it at all, and when he did the 
girls had gone, much earlier than usual, to their 
rooms, whereat there were others to look disap- 

But Madam HeatherAvood, with fond interest in 
her soft eyes, stood at the door-way of her sitting- 
room as Lowndes reached the second story, and v/ith 
all the old trust and faith he hastened to her side, 
and she led the way within. 

"Read it yourself," he said, "and tell me what it 
means." But his heart was throbbing hard as he 
handed her the open sheet. And this was what she 

"You told me to ride for Belle Heatherwood's 
sake the night you set me free and saved my neck. 
It was like you, Jack Lowndes, but it wasn't fair. 
You made me believe it was she who planned the 
whole escape, — that you were but her instrument. 
I went with hope I had never known before, and 
that hope was killed long months ago, long before we 
lost all hope for the cause of our blessed South. Only 
after you disappeared, leaving no trace behind, did 
I learn the whole truth. Only after Appomattox 
did I hear through Belden of your safe and glorious 


"I am glad no Virginians were in your front that 
December day at Nashville. I have often wished 
I had died with Garnett and Armistead that grand, 
but fatal afternoon at Gettysburg, and had been 
buried there where I lay among your guns, but it 
pleased God to order that I should be with Pickett 
to the last. 

"Say to dear Aunty Heatherwood that, so long as 
I live, I shall remember her loving-kindness. Tell 
her that friends in England offer me an opening 
there, and that within a few weeks I shall be on my 
way to London, it appearing that I am no longer 
'wanted' to answer to the charge of being a spy. Tell 
her I saw the Waddells at their old home, reunited 
and, except Laura, reconcilable. Between you and 
me, that young woman is the worst Reb I ever saw, 
Frank is a manly fellow, who will soon restore the 
family fortunes, but as for Laura she declaims 
against you Yankees from morn till night, despite 
the New England blood that flowed in her mother's 
veins and twangs at times in the tones of her other- 
wise melodious voice; despite the more damaging 
fact that she is believed to hold prisoner a New 
Hampshire heart, that of one Lieutenant Pettingill, 
whom we captured wounded at Cold Harbor; and 
so loyal a Rebel is she that, following the example 
of your government, she refuses to exchange her 
prisoner for a Virginian of equal rank who, in the 
interest of harmony between the sections, is said to 
be willing- to offer himself. At this moment Mr. 


Pettingill is believed to be home on parole, but 
within easy call of tliat kittenisJi patte de velours at 
'Leesburg. It is my belief that, in her longing to 
whip the whole Yankee nation as it deserves, Miss 
Waddell has determined to hold him for life, leaving 
the whippings to be administered in the by and by 
to a generation yet unborn. 

"And now, to yourself — the man who gave me 
life and liberty and saved me from a shameful fate 
— I have no words with which to say how deep is my 
gratitude, or with what full heart I pray God's bless- 
ing on you — on you and Belle. 


They were standing under a gas-jet by her dress- 
ing table, her silvering head bowed over the page, the 
soft lines about her lips betraying the emotion with 
which she read, now quivering with tender sym- 
pathy as the letter told of the writer's sorrow and 
coming exile, now curving almost merrily as it spoke 
of Laura; but it was the final paragraph of which 
Jack had so impulsively sj^oken, of which alone he 
was thinking, and when at last she raised her head 
and looked up with swimming eyes into his face, 
the fond woman whispered, "Wait here one mo- 
ment," and then, moved to sudden resolution^ left 
the room. 

A moment he stood there alone. He seemed to 
realize what was coming. There was a bounding in 
his pulses, a throbbing in his heart, that recalled 


the wild ecstasy of the charge, yet iliere there was 
no trembling. Impatient he turned to the door as 
though to follow, but there came a light footfall, and 
at the very threshold he met the girl he had loved so 
long, and long so hopelessly. Her eyes, startled, 
fell before his eager gaze. 

"Mother sent me " she faltered, but with sud- 
den movement he seized her trembling hands and 
drew her within before she could complete the 

"I have such strange news," he hurried to say. 
"Floyd Fairfax tells me he goes abroad to live. He 
tells me practically that my renunciation was — 
wasted. Belle, what does it mean?" 

Her head was bowed so near his breast that his 
pleading lips almost swept her fair white forehead. 
For a moment she could not answer. "Tell me," he 
whispered, bending lower still, and she felt the 
quiver of his strong, nervous hand and heard the 
loud throbbing of his brave heart. One quick glance 
up into his glowing eyes, and then the long lashes 
swept her cheeks again. 

"1 never told you — I never meant," at last she 
whispered, "that you should renounce — me." 


By John Strange Winter, 

(Mrs. Arthur Stannard.) 

A Magnificent Young Man. 

l2mo. Paper, 50 cents ; cloth, ^ 1. 00. 

** There is a happy mingling of comedy and tragedy in A Magnificent Young 
Man. It is a story with an original plot, involving a secret marriage, the mysteri- 
ous disappearance of a bridegroom, and the experiences of a young girl, who 
refuses to clear her reputation, even to the mother of her unacknowledged husband, 
until such a time as he shall give permission. 1 he plot is well sustained, the in- 
cidents and dialogue are entertaining, and the mystery is kept up long enough to 
hold the close attention of the reader to the last chapter." — Boston Beacon. 

Every Inch a Soldier. 

l2mo. Paper, 50 cents; cloth, $1.00. 

"Of the incidents of the work before us, the plot is highly entertaining, and 
Incidentally we meet the Bishop of Blankhampton, whose matrimonial affairs were 
ably discussed in a book previously written. It is a very pleasant and readable 
book, and we are glad to see it." — Norrtstown Herald. 

Aunt Johnnie. 

I2mo. Paper, 50 cents ; cloth, $1.00. 

" Mrs. Stannard preserves her freshness and vivacity in a wonderful way. 
'Aunt Johnnie' is as bright and amusing a story as any that she has written, and 
it rattles on from the first chapter to the last with unabated gayety and vigor. I he 
hero and heroine are both charming, and the frisky matron who gives the story its 
name is a capitally managed character. 1 he novel is exactly suited to the season, 
and is sure to be very popular." — Charleston News and Courier. 

The Other Man's Wife. 

i2mo. Paper, 50 cents ; cloth, 5i-00. 

" The hero and heroine have a charm which is really unusual in these hack- 
neyed personages, for they are most attractive and wholesome types, indeed, 
wholesomeness may be said to be the most notable characteristic of this author's 
work." — N. Y. Telegram. 

Only Human. 

i2mo. Paper, 50 cents ; cloth, ;Sl. 00. 

" A bright and interesting story. ... Its pathos and humor are of the 
Bame admirable quality that is found in all the other novels by this author." — Boston 


By Elizabeth Phipps Train 



" It is an interesting confession, admirably written, and the story throughout 
is delightfully fresh and vivacious." — Philadelphia Evening Btdletin. 

" The author gives in this handsome little book a charming glimpse of ultra- 
fashionable English society. It has an air of truth which makes its moral the more 
impressive, and the characters are well drawn." — Columbus Evening Dispatch. 

" This is a profoundly interesting love story. Its plot is simple, natural, and 
life-like — often approaching the tragic. The dangers from the abuse of the powers 
of hypnotism are strikingly illustrated." — Chicago Inter Ocean. 


" There is a consistency of bold purpose in the book which makes it the re- 
verse of mawkish. It is a kind of modernized Dick Turpin." — Chicago Times- 

" 'A Social Highwayman,' a small and dainty volume in Lippincott's Lotos 
Library, is a distinctly interesting, almost a fascinating, story." — Brooklyn Daib 

" The J. R. Lippincott Company has issued in the Lotos Library, in a hand- 
some little volume, with illustrations,' A Social Highwayman,' by Elizabeth Phipps 
Train, which originally appeared in j^?)>/?'Krip/<'j Magazine. 1 hi thrillingly dra- 
matic story, always intensely absorbing, has acquired a new interest since it was 
turned into a play, and many will be an.xious to compare it with the drama which 
bears the same name. The tale has abundant life and movement, and commands 
and retains attention." — Boston Saturday Eveniug Gazette. 












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